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Day 62 – Menus (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!

Menus

In the teaching of English, I make a lot of reference to menus. A great writer develops a menu of things to choose from for a desired effect. This is at the heart of Talk for Writing and is what I love so much about it - it teachers children to be writers. So when the boys asked to do menus, I thought - GREAT! However, the menus they had in mind were a little different. We hope you enjoy!


English

  • Persuasive adjectives

  • Alliteration

  • Word play / rhyme

  • Persuasion / advertising

So it turns out that the boys really wanted to create a menu...for an ogre! I had to laugh as boys will be boys and the prospect of creating an ogre's favourite meal clearly had their creative juices flowing. I decided to focus in, therefore, on the purpose of adjectives and the effect they have on a reader. After all, when used poorly, adjectives destroy writing.


We began with a monster brainstorm of words to describe food, focusing on which we thought were positive and which were negative. This in its own right was a super activity as it got the boys really talking about words.

Before we wrote an ogre's favourite meal, I thought it would be good to see the contrast. So we began by writing our own perfect menu, consisting of a starter, main and pudding. Whilst modelling this to the boys, I explained the importance of language to hook the reader, alliteration to play with the sounds of the words, and catchy slogans or descriptions to intrigue. Here is my model:

Starter

Perfect Parmesan Soufflé

Soft, delicate and delicious. A melt-in-the-mouth sensation!


Main

Herb-infused Luscious Lamb

An explosion of spring that will leave you jumping for joy.


Pudding

Chocoholic's Paradise

The dessert of your dreams - rich, creamy and very very naughty!

Here is Joshua's menu:

Starter

Soft, Smooth Smoked Salmon

A pure taste of joy on a crunchy cracker.


Main

Fresh Fish and Salty Chips

Seaside on your plate!


Pudding

Mum's Magnificent Malteser Mountain

Munch, crunch - it packs a punch!

Here is Archie's menu:

Starter

Crunchy Crudities & Healthy Hummus

One bite and you'll be begging for more!


Main

Brilliant BBQ Beef

Perfectly pink, sizzling and saucy!


Pudding

Cheeky Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Too good to share (don't tell your parents!)

We then designed our menus for an ogre, thinking how truly vile we could be. Understandably, the boys loved this one! Hope this does not put you off your dinner!


Starter

Spicy Sparrow-foot Soup

A slurpy, sloppy, slimy sensation...with a kick!

Main

Tangy Toenail Tarts

A satisfying crunch with every bite.

Pudding

Blackened Bogey BonBons

Stringy, gooey and beautifully rolled.

Here is Joshua's menu:

Starter

Spicy Sour Snails

Stingy, slimy and satisfying.

Main

A Genuine Toad in the Hole!

Earthy and tender.

Pudding

Crunchy Crab Claw in Sour Yogurt

A perfect pinch of the tongue!

Here is Archie's menu:

Starter

Stinky Slug Stew

Smoky, slimy stew...smells a bit like you!


Main

Dirty, Disgusting Donkey Hooves

A filthy kick in the teeth!

Pudding

Mushy, Crunchy, Chewy Cucumber Cake

Disgusting to share. Be transported to your worst paradise.


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, where we exploring:

NAMES


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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