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Playing with words makes hard work fun

ENGLISH FOR LOWER ATTAINERS. By Chris Lutrario and Mary Green. File 1 (7-8), File 2 (8-9), File 3 (9-10), File 4 (10-11). Folens, pound;49.95 each

These chunky ring-binders are full of texts and activities for children whose reading age is about two years lower than their chronological age.

The authors, both experienced teachers, have done their best to provide materials that won't seem embarrassingly simple to their readers.

Each folder contains 30 units, making three full terms' work for each year of key stage 2. It's probably inevitable that some of this should seem familiar. Setting out the instructions for making a cup of tea is not going to make a thrilling lesson.

But other sections are more enjoyable and more enlightening. Planning an Anansi story with new victims of trickery is good fun for Year 3s.

Discussing some of Edward Lear's linguistic inventions - what did he mean by "Toosday and Weddlesday"? - or writing weather poems in cloud and rain shapes is instructive and fun. Playing with language is often the best form of hard work.

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