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Day 58 - Shadows (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!



Shadows are such a significant part of life. They are always there, following. They move and disappear. They represent something, yet are nothing. They could even be seen as having a personality...especially in the world of a poet. So today, we explored the world of the shadow.

We hope you enjoy!



  • List poem

  • Modal verbs

  • Standard English

  • Apostrophes for contractions

Today's session was a continuance of our recent focus - to develop and deepen the boys' descriptive language. We therefore began with a brainstorm, identifying as many words as we could that we associated with shadows.

Once we had the words, we then discussed which we linked with negative, scary descriptions and those that were more gentle and pleasant. This was an interesting discussion and threw up some great discussion about those words that could potentially be both positive and negative. What I loved was the way that the boys are beginning to understand that words create an effect on the reader and can be used and manipulated for a desired purpose. The constant revisiting is paying off (happy teacher face).

I then showed the boys how to turn this into a simple descriptive poem, focusing on the adjective choice and the connection with action. Here is my poem and retelling.



Sad shadows lifelessly lie

across the forest floor.

Feathery shadows flamenco

in a soft, summer breeze.

Slender, spidery shadows


and tremble.

Long, lacy shadows

caress the earth.

Languid shadows laze

beneath a clouded sky.

Jagged skeletal shadows

cut, rip and tear.

Hungry shadows devour the sun’s light,

plunging the world into darkness.

Demonic shadows plague nightmares,

poisoning innocent thoughts.

Mortal shadows cower.

Immortal shadows beam.

Faint shadows loiter.

Shapeless shadows scream.

Mysterious shadows paint vague pictures.

Slinky shadows ebb and flow.

Curious shadows follow and listen.

Suspicious shadows grow.

© Jamie Thomas 2020



Playing shadows run, hop, skip, jump and play.

Terrible shadows get up to mischief.

Busy shadows soar and shop.

Fear shadows scare people and run away.

Stuffy shadows fill their bellies with food.

Red-eyed shadows stare in people’s eyes to hypnotise them.

Swollen shadows get injured.

Poor shadows try to grab money.

Rich shadows don’t give money away to the poor.

By Joshua



Jagged shadows drill into the sun’s brightness.

Peaceful shadows lie on sun loungers

and relax and chill out.

Poisonous shadows shoot venom quickly.

Long, lazy shadows keep calm and snooze.

Spidery shadows attack and fight.

Incredible shadows flip, handstand,

cartwheel and karate chop.

Happy shadows celebrate and cheer.

Miserable shadows stay, sit and sag.

Feathery shadows flutter and fling.

By Archie



  • Problem solving

  • Number bonds

  • Addition

Fridays are always our problem solving sessions. Try this shadow-themed maths investigation to get the brain working.

Top tips:

  1. Discuss where the largest numbers would have to be placed.

  2. Look at the digit in the 1s column of each of these numbers. Ask the children how they can make that by adding the 1s columns of the remaining numbers. This helps the children break this down into manageable chunks.


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 tomorrow (later today), where we exploring: Piranhas

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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