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Day 43 - Dreams (creative ideas for home schooling)

For anyone new to this blog, the idea is simple - each day my boys (Joshua - 9 and Archie - 8) choose a stimulus that drives the learning. We hope that you enjoy the blog and can take some inspiration from what we love doing - making learning as engaging as possible!

Dreams

Dreams are one of those things in the world that I find hard to explain. Your dreams can take you back into your past, submerge you in the present or also transport you into worlds not yet seen. Some are immensely realistic and some are utterly surreal. But what are dreams? Are they visions of our imagination? Are they a reflection of our day? Are they our mind's way of unwinding or making sense of the world? Whatever the answer, they are a fascinating thing to explore. Today's blog is delving into the world of dreams...the world of possibility. We hope you enjoy!

English / Art

  • Playful poetry

  • Designing dreamcatchers

A dreamcatcher is a protective symbol, used to protect people from nightmares and bad dreams. Many believe that a dreamcatcher acts like a spider's web, trapping the bad dreams or nightmares while allowing the good ones to filter through.


We began the session by talking about dreamcatchers and looking at some photos them. We discussed how they were designed, with beads and feathers and webs to snare and trap potential threats whilst you are sleeping.

We then had a go at drawing our own dreamcatchers. The boys wanted to influence their dreams through the design. Archie (middle below) wanted a spider's web that would not allow any nightmares to pass. He questioned there being a circle in the centre as he felt this would act as a window for evil to pass through. Joshua (right below) just wanted his dreams to be filled with the Christmas spirit. I tried to explain that this was not perhaps the concept of the dreamcatcher, but he was adamant that this would be what hung above his bed to channel his dreams so I couldn't argue. Mine (left) is somewhat more traditional. Have a go at drawing your own dreamcatcher - it is amazingly therapeutic!

We then made a list of categories that we may experience in our dreams. These included:

  • sounds

  • smells

  • tastes

  • pictures / visions

  • feelings and emotions

  • music

  • memories

  • wishes / desires

  • lies

  • fears

  • destinies

  • significant events (e.g. halloween / Christmas / birthdays/ etc.)

  • magical places

  • real places

  • animals / fantasy creatures

For those of you familiar with Pie Corbett's poem entitled The Dream Catcher, the following activity takes inspiration from that. I have put my own spin on it to give the boys a strong scaffold to support their poems.


Introduce the children to the following simple model. In the example below, we are exploring sounds. Each stanza, change the category for a new focus.


The dreamcatcher caught

name a sound you fear and add detail (e.g. strangled screams)

add in further detail or action (e.g. tormenting innocent souls)

but it welcomed

name a sound you love (e.g. laughter)

add in further detail or action (e.g. dancing on a spring breeze)

The stanza would read:


The dreamcatcher caught

strangled screams,

tormenting innocent souls,

but it welcomed

laughter,

dancing on a spring breeze.


Here are our dreamcatcher poems:

The Dreamcatcher

The dreamcatcher caught

strangled screams,

tormenting innocent souls,

but it welcomed

laughter,

dancing on a spring breeze.


The dreamcatcher caught

barren lands,

void of life,

but it welcomed

fresh shoots,

stretching to sun-dappled skies.


The dreamcatcher caught

the scorpion's sting,

the black widow's bite

and the cobra's venomous spit,

but it welcomed

the cat's precious purr,

the cricket's click

and the sky lark's sweet song.


The dreamcatcher caught

the endless sleep,

the silent worlds,

but it welcomed

family and friendship,

glasses charged in celebration.


The dreamcatcher caught

sins of greed and jealousy,

charged with malice,

but it welcomed

tears of happiness, falling freely

into pools of pleasure.


© Jamie Thomas 2020

The Dreamcatcher

The dreamcatcher caught

a baby's mad cry

that explodes in your brain,

but it welcomed

Christmas carols

resonating through church passageways.


The dreamcatcher caught

curtain-like ghosts,

howling like dementors,

but it welcomed

Father Christmas

with his snowball-white beard.


The dreamcatcher caught

the tooth of a sabre-tooth tiger,

as sharp as an axe,

but it welcomed

a parrot's colourful feathers,

as bright as a rainbow.


The dreamcatcher caught

a haunted house

full of cackles,

but it welcomed

Hogwarts School

of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


by Joshua

The Dreamcatcher

The dreamcatcher caught

the screech of a chair

dragged across a cold, stone floor,

but it welcomed

secret songs of happiness

that spread laughter.

The dreamcatcher caught

accidents awaiting me,

full of danger and pain,

but it welcomed

paradise - a chocolate world,

delicious and sweet.


The dreamcatcher caught

a lion's hunger,

a cobra's venom

and a great white shark's tooth,

but it welcomed

a cat's soft miaow,

a dog's fluffy fur

and a rabbit's floppy ears.

The dreamcatcher caught

caves full of spiderwebs,

secretive and creepy,

but it welcomed

strawberry fields,

ripe and juicy.


by Archie

Art / DT


We could not resist the opportunity to make our own dreamcatchers. To do this, all you need is a paper plate, some pens/paints, a hole punch, some wool and any beads/feathers you may be able to find.


Here are Joshua, Archie and Finley's creations:

If you are enjoying this blog, please do share it and spread the word. Thank you to all of you who have got in touch and shared some of the outcomes from what you have tried - we love to hear from you.


Do tune in on Monday where we exploring:


5 Sentence Stories


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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