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Blog Idea 69 – Santa's Sack (description & poetry)

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

This blog is designed to offer creative ideas that you can take back and try at home or in the classroom. It was born out of the time I spent educating my own boys over lockdown and aims to make the teaching and learning of English as engaging as possible!


Santa's Sack

For many families, Christmas is a time of celebration and togetherness. There is a magic and wonder that lies at the heart of the festivities, none more magical to a child than the arrival of Father Christmas and his team of reindeer...and the sack of presents!

Today's blog is designed to encourage the children to think beyond the materialistic worth of gifts. Together, we will consider what magic could lie in Santa's sack.



  • List poetry

  • Word waiter - adjectives

  • Personification

  • Alliteration

The Word Waiter

For anyone unfamiliar with this, a 'word waiter' is basically just a rich brainstorm of language, from which we can raid during the writing process. Generating banks of language is central to fuelling creative thought. For a child to acquire a new word, they need to explore it at least 8 times in a variety of contexts - this is a significant investment of time. The question is - how do we get language out of children? How do we help them reconnect with dormant language?

To tune into the language we might need, we brainstormed around three categories:

  1. Colours / adjectives of colour

  2. Adjectives of positivity

  3. Magical things

Shared Writing

I then introduced the children to the opening of our poem:

I opened Santa's sack and saw...

The idea behind the poem is inspired by The Magic Box by Kit Wright. You can watch Kit reading the poem here:

We began by talking through the fact that, whilst there could be physical presents inside, there could also be magical things such as smiles, wishes and emotions. We talked about how a present could mean so many different things - all bring some deep, rich joy to the receiver.

We then co-constructed a poem of our own, drawing on the word waiter:

I opened Santa's sack and saw...

shiny, silver smiles, illuminating the darkness;

dazzling dreams, full of promise;

an ocean of wonder, deep and enriched;

a fairy-dust fountain, brimming with brilliance;

a magenta moon;

sapphire stars;

plump presents, pulling party poppers;

tender hearts, touched with love;

a rocking horse: a life-long wish;

equality: the forever dream;

kindness, wrapped in ambition;

peace, wrapped in happiness.

I opened Santa's sack and saw...

a better world.

© Jamie Thomas, 2020

Throughout the shared writing, the importance of the discussion was key. I wanted the boys to break cliché and come up with new imagery that linked to the metaphorical representation of the idyllic present. The writing they produced was without support - I think they did a great job!


I opened Santa's sack and saw...

heart-warming happiness, singing miracles;

stupendous dreams, dazzling the darkness;

incredible oceans, wondrous and beautiful;

mysterious magic, spreading the love;

amazing, flying motorbikes, soaring through the sky;

smiles, sparkling with joy;

a crystal castle in the clouds;

wicked witches' broomsticks, warm and wild;

happy harmony;

stars shining like sparkly songs.

I opened Santa's sack and saw...

a wonderful world.

by Archie


I opened Santa's sack and saw...

a wizard's magic spells, illuminating the darkness;

a witch's broomstick, zooming from corner to corner;

a pocked of fairy-dust, shining brightly;

a flying motorbike, soaring above my head;

an invisible smile, making me laugh;

a happy smile, sat upon my face as I open presents;

a lovely smile, spread across my face as I gaze at the magenta reef;

a castle in the clouds, full of unseen animals.

I opened Santa's sack and saw...

a world full of magic.

by Joshua


I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog. If you have a great idea you would like to share, or would like inspiration for a short-burst writing idea that could become a new blog, please do not hesitate to get in touch. As my 4 year old constantly reminds me - sharing is caring.

My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and the Talk for Writing team for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.

This blog is copyright. All materials herein, texts and supporting resources are copyright to Jamie Thomas & Talk for Writing. They may be used to support children/staff/parents in home-learning ONLY and not for commercial gain or for training or sharing widely, in their original form or any variations. They must also not be shared online or on any social media platforms without prior permission.

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1 commentaire

Lisa Ng
Lisa Ng
14 déc. 2020

"For a child to acquire a new word, they need to explore it at least 8 times in a variety of contexts" I love this idea, could you please give me some ideas as to how else to find these variety of contexts, I always tend to do the basic ones. Another question I also have for you now is also, how long did it take you to complete this lesson?

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