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!
I wonder how many weird and wonderful resolutions have been made over the past few days. There seems to be a sort of fascination to idealise and cleanse ourselves of all our bad habits, promising we will do better. I wonder how many resolutions I have ever upheld...or how similar they are year on year...
As we enter into 2021, longing for a more positive year, I thought it would be fun to play around with the idea of resolutions...but not only our own!
English - Activity 1
This year I will...But I won't
To warm the boys up, we quickly brainstormed a list of things we may commit to as resolutions. Here is the initial brainstorm:
We then played a quick-fire game to get their minds moving. The idea is simple, take the following framework and bat the ideas back and forward. The ideas can be sensible, real, outrageous, fantastical...it is really about generating language and having fun!
This year I will...
But I won't...
Here are some of our initial lines...
Interestingly, the boys started to make links to global issues, such as the plastic in the oceans and world hunger. We then decided that it would be good to try to include some of these issues in our poems to continue to raise awareness.
Here are our initial attempts:
This year I will open my boys' eyes to more wonderful stories,
But I won't be able to give every child this entitlement.
This year I will be healthier,
But I won't rid the world of malnourishment.
This year I will explore the world on my doorstep,
But I won't manage to trek across new lands.
This year I will listen and learn more,
But I won't hear all the words of wisdom that I crave.
This year I will spend more time with my friends and family,
But I won't unite the world.
© Jamie Thomas 2021
Resolutions by Archie Thomas
This year I will read 30 books,
But I won't be able to read to the children without anyone to read to them.
This year I will win football matches for the U9 Colts,
But I won't win the Premier League.
This year I will ride my bike more,
But I won't be part of the Tour de France.
This year I am going to tidy my room,
But I won't tidy the oceans.
This year I am going to go on an adventure,
But I am not going to swim the River Nile.
This year I am going to try new foods,
But I am not going to eat hot chilly.
Resolutions by Joshua Thomas
This year I will eat loads of fruit and veg,
But I won't eat a spicy chilli.
This year I will go on exciting adventures,
But I won't climb a beanstalk.
This year I will play more boardgames with my family,
But I won't play Cheater's Chess.
This year I will tidy my room,
But I won't rid the world of rubbish.
This year I will try new sports,
But I won't run the London Marathon.
English - Activity 2
What would an abstract noun wish for?
Whilst brainstorming ideas for the blog, Pie suggested we explore this creative activity. The idea is to take an abstract noun and explore what it would wish for - what resolutions may it make?
Here is the model I wrote for the children to explore and discuss:
In 2021, I shall be the word on everyone's lips:
Success in overcoming the Covid epidemic;
Success in reuniting families and friends;
Success in the world getting back on its feet.
But I will not fulfil my destiny.
I shall not succeed in bringing back those we have lost.
I shall not succeed in healing the world.
I shall not succeed in making humans human.
But I can work...
I can strive...
I can wish...
© Jamie Thomas 2021
The boys then had a go at writing their own version, based on Hope. We approached this as a shared writing exercise. Here is what they came up with...
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.