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Day 48 - Fathers (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!



With Father's Day on the horizon, we welcomed the request to do something for the dads. I feel blessed to have a dad who is both a role model and a hero of mine. I know he will be reading this so I am dedicating today's blog to him and everything he represents in my life.



  • Poetry response

  • Writing about our lives

  • Kennings poems

Activity 1: Reading

I want to start including a reading response as part of the blog. I am aware that we read so many weird and wonderful things to the boys, but probably do not spend enough time discussing what we have read. If you are finding home learning tricky, my advice would be to read as much as you can with your children. After all, reading is a life skill that underpins everything we do. Plus, I am yet to meet a great writer that doesn't love reading.

We began the day reading Daddy Fell Into the Pond by Alfred Noyes. Unfortunately, due to copyright, I cannot post the poem on here, but you can access it through the following link:

The boys loved the poem and laughed out 'my' expense. We then had a discussion about the poem, in which they told me:

"It is funny because we imagine Daddy being all mucky, freezing and covered in frogspawn when he fell into the pond."
"I like when the daughter got the camera – this would be a photo we would want to look at for years and years."
"I don’t like the fact that everyone was grumbling because it sounds like they were bored."
"Daddy’s face would be angry and grumpy."
"The ducks weren’t actually laughing but their quack sounds like laughing so this would add to the scene."

The trick is to help the children to voice an opinion, as well as clarify and explain themselves. Keep pushing for them to qualify their opinions using 'because'.

Activity 2: Kennings Poetry

A kennings poem is where you take two words and combine them as a metaphor for something else. For example, a dog could be described as a stick-chaser or a scent-sniffer.

We began the session by playing some word races, seeing how many -er words we could come up with . The boys love any of these sorts of activities and it helps build the bank of vocabulary.

We then talked about the categories we may use to describe dads. These included: hobbies, habits, food, drink, interests, bad habits, sayings and passions. I then showed the boys how I would go about writing a poem about my dad. I always feel that this sort of poetry just flows once the thing gets started. Often one line opens up the imagination to the next. It seemed obvious to me to begin with 'avid gardener' and this then sparked my imagination, picturing his beautiful garden that he treasures. It led me onto 'colour-creator' and then I could see the birds that flood in to feed...and on it goes. So here is a lovely idea for Father's Day...

My Dad

Avid gardener

Colour creator

Bird feeder

Plant waterer

Keen walker

Dog lover

Deep chatter

Great listener

Story teller

Silent ponderer

Joke re-teller

Laugh maker

Sport lover

Spurs supporter

Tennis player

Wimbledon watcher

News follower

Paper reader

Book monster

Knowledge hoarder

Wine lover

Gin drinker

Meat eater

BBQ creator

Rule abider

Moral provider

Life Inspirer dad!

© Jamie Thomas 2020


My daddy is a













by Archie

My daddy is a

Ice cream biter

Beer monster

Dog lover

Chelsea supporter

Keen singer

Wood trimmer

Nail banger

Gin maker

Wine sipper

Tickle monster

Book lover

by Joshua



  • Code / puzzle

  • Division facts / Times Tables

For 'Father' maths, we investigated creating code breakers.

To do this, you need to begin with the answer - I modelled the word 'father.'

Each letter is connected to its associated numerical value, i.e. a = 1, b = 2, etc.

Once you have the answer in words, jot down the numerical answers to each.

Then, write questions that result in that answer.

For example, the first letter is F = 6

36 / 6 = 6

The boys then had fun making up a code breaker for me. It was almost without error and revealed a lovely message to top a great day!

Finally, we couldn't resist revisiting a family favourite - one of the most infamous fathers of them all. This is a great website for resources:


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: Rainforests

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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