Firework makers

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In Philip Pullman’s magic novel, The Firework Maker’s Daughter, Lila, the daughter in question, learns to invent and make fireworks herself. When she does so, her father encourages her to name them. She makes Golden SneezesCrackle DragonsTumbling DemonsShimmering CoinsJava LightsLeaping Monkeys. Invent some names for your own fireworks. Make a list. Choose one and describe … Continue reading Firework makers

Read lots!

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Ask a writer for advice about writing and they are more than likely to say, ‘Read lots. Write lots.’ When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.Zadie Smith There are all kinds of reasons for reading. The tricky thing, sometimes,  is to convince … Continue reading Read lots!

Non-fiction

Non-fiction has a terrible reputation in schools. I have to say it has earned it -all that endless, pointless, writing of instructions, the torture of an explanation and the dreariness of a recount or a balanced argument, painstakingly written within the spiky scaffolding of a writing frame; the convoluted excuses - or the, more honest, … Continue reading Non-fiction