We used Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as our literacy theme for the term and wanted an exciting way into the work.
On the first day, I put a number of objects on the pupils' tables that were linked to the characters: a toy gun for Mike Teavee, sticks of chewing gum for Violet Beauregarde, cocoa beans for the Oompa Loompas and some cabbages for Charlie Bucket.
Pupils entered the classroom and I just kept quiet and watched. Some picked up the objects, and others came to me asking what to do with them.
After a few minutes, they started looking at the objects on other tables and began to see a link, which got them talking and explaining what they were thinking and why.
We talked about what the objects might mean and they were thrilled to discover the text they would be reading.
The activity led to some good character descriptions and gave pupils a starting point for their discussion.
Louise Payne teaches at Collingwood Primary School in Chelmsford, Essex.