Let’s dive straight in…
1. National Centre For Writing
Norwich based National Centre for Writing have created a collection of a whopping 80 creative writing prompts, aimed at a range of ages. I love how eclectic the inspirations for the activities are – from Anne Frank to Tupac Shkur. The inventiveness of the challenges themselves are also really engaging, and cover a wide range of forms (from poems, to speeches, to emails!) which I think would help keep young people engaged.
2. Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen
This Youtube channel features the wonderful writer and former children’s poet laureate Michael Rosen reading poems and stories written by a selection of children’s authors. Rosen’s range of facial expressions and voices really make these videos come to life – they’re obviously aimed at relatively young children, but his knack for reading aloud makes them engaging to whoever watches them, whatever age. The channel also features guest appearances, such as in the ‘How To Write’ series, in which Rosen interviews other authors and poets including Malorie Blackman and David Almond, which are also a great watch and contain lots of useful tips and ideas for aspiring writers.
3. World Book Day Online Masterclasses
This is a great website, with loads of really well laid-out resources on a huge array of subjects, so students can easily choose or be guided towards classes depending on what they’re interested in and their level: from ‘Weird and Wonderful Heroes’ to ‘Finding Your Style’. The array of well-known faces, including Radio 1’s Gregg James and ‘Charlie & Lola’ author Lauren Child, also helps bring the classes to life, and I imagine might help to keep students even more engaged.
4. Norfolk Libraries April Reading Challenge
A simple idea but a great one, the April Reading Challenge set by Norfolk County Council features a broad range of tasks revolving around reading and literature. Challenges range from the straightforward (“find a poem you like and share it with someone”) to the more complex (“download a stop motion app and have a go at making a video”) so it’s worth noting younger children might require some help from a parent or carer. But even if kids don’t take part every single day, the resource is still a useful one with loads of great ideas. The competitive edge – you can download a certificate if you complete the challenge – could also be a motivation to help students stay on track.
5. Book Creator
Something a bit different, but this resource could be a really great one for keep kids engaged while teaching remotely. Book Creator is an application in which you can build an online book, complete with your own text and illustrations. They are currently giving free access to the premium version for three months to help support remote learning, with features including joint collaboration, so students can work on the same book from separate computers, and daily webinars to help you learn more about how to use the site. Though it might seem a bit daunting at first if you haven’t used it before, this is really an app worth getting to grips with, as kids will love it! Take a look at Ellie’s review here to find out more
By Georgia Rees-Lang