5th June 2009 at 01:00

The Writers' Museum in Edinburgh, in Lady Stair's House off the Royal Mile, won't suit every class looking for an educational visit. The exhibition rooms are small, there's an internal balcony and lots of narrow winding stairs to be negotiated.

But compared to the clatter and babble of many other, larger museums, the relative calm and lack of distracting interactives in this historic 17th- century house could be a welcome change for small groups of older primary and secondary pupils, or teachers on their own.

One reason for a visit is Warlocks and Witches in a Dance, a new temporary exhibition running until the end of the year, which showcases artwork created by 12 teenagers at the Royal Blind School using poems by Robert Burns as their inspiration.

Artist Jo Arksey worked with the pupils as well as 12 adult members of Pentland Art Club on the project, and the result is a show which, although confined to just one room, should provide plenty of inspiration and ideas for similar projects in other classrooms.

The exhibition explains and illustrates the stages pupils went through to get to their simple but effective finished works of art and shows how poems about mouses, louses and haggises can lead to the creation of delightful objects and colourful 3D pictures.

But the permanent exhibitions at the Writers' Museum are also well worth a visit. They focus on three giants of Scottish literature - Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson - and can be appreciated by adults and older children alike. The Stevenson display is particularly accessible and features fascinating photographs of the author and his family at their home in Samoa with Samoan friends and staff.


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