English - Sticky situation

23rd November 2012 at 00:00
Submit to the witch to find Leafstalkers and Buggles

Once upon a time, in a faraway primary school, there lived a headteacher who was secretly a witch. One day, the witch decreed that the children be led from their safe, cosy and fairly boring subject-based curriculum to a dark and mysterious place. "Take them to a magical realm filled with fairies, elves, goblins and strange goings-on," she commanded.

And so it happened that a Theme Week was declared. And we, her minions, set out on a quest to bring learning to life by providing fabulous opportunities for creativity and fun. Our theme was Fantasy Worlds and one of our tasks was to invent an imaginary place inhabited by strange and mythical creatures of our own invention.

After dismissing Deadly Werewolves, Blood-Sucking Vampires, Kickboxing Karate Killers and Toilet Monsters, we eventually opted for Leafstalkers. We got the idea while observing Hermione's Indian stick insects. Allegedly there are six of them, and their names are Sticky, Twiggy, Spriggy, Sprouty, Buddy and Granny Susan. I think she ran out of references to wizened vegetation by number six and opted for the next best thing.

The children were soon fired up. "Leafstalkers could live in a magical forest," said Jenny.

"They could rescue a beautiful princess from a dungeon in the roots of an ancient oak," said Harjinda.

"Then they could take her back to their den and eat her alive," said Ryan.

"What can eat her alive?" asked Mrs Warburton, an assistant teacher, as she entered the classroom.

"This can," said Ryan. He showed her Buddy, who was wondering how long it might take him to evolve into something that resembles a boy's forearm.

While Mrs Warburton hyperventilated in the corridor, the children agreed to abandon Leafstalkers in favour of Buggles. Less than a millimetre tall, they live inside mattresses where they build towns out of tiny dust boulders, dead skin flakes and strands of human hair. In the dead of night, they climb into a sleeper's ear and whisper stories that turn into dreams. Most Buggles tell nice stories to inspire good dreams, but not all of them. Some Buggles enjoy creating nightmares.

Steve Eddison is a key stage 2 teacher at Arbourthorne Community Primary School in Sheffield

WHAT ELSE?

Take your class to another world with kaleyjane's two-week unit of work. Pupils make their own imaginary land in a shoebox.

bit.lytesFantasy

Read a fantasy tale together: try a listen-and-read book, The Ogre's Birthday, from TESiboard. bit.lyOgresBirthday.

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