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My brilliant idea - Daemon masters

Englishdrama - Ages 11-14

This activity is inspired by Philip Pullman's Northern Lights trilogy and the aim is to get pupils to think and write metaphorically and figuratively.

You could begin by sharing an extract of the novel with the class that features a particular daemon, or could briefly explain the concept - that within the novels, in Lyra's world, all characters have a daemon that is an extension of their inner selves, their soul, or their "essence". Each daemon takes the form of a particular animal and epitomises the nature of the character.

Now, take five celebrities and get pupils to decide on a daemon for each one: encourage them to justify and explain their choices.

Finally, ask pupils to write a vivid and detailed description of their own daemon, thinking about their own character traits. What type of animal would their daemon be? What would it look like? How would it behave?

This is a great way to encourage pupils to think about the connotations of metaphors and symbolism within their own work and work of other writers.

Olga Dermott-Bond is head of drama and teaches English at Rugby High School.

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