Class 1K

Today Class 1K are ‘Tagging Garston’ – working together with words and language.

Some very excited children started working with John today. The session started with a rhyme with a history theme about John’s grandad – a fabulous rhyme called ‘My grandad’s beard is wierd’. A very funny rhyme, some parts real, some slightly exaggerated or made up using imagination! The children had to decide which were which. Then the children added ideas of their own using their imagination! The ideas of what might be in his beard became more and more wierd and wonderful!! He ended up with a pig, a cat and a rat in his beard!


John stressed the importance of ‘listening moments’ so they would know what to do during ‘chatting moments’ and ‘joining in moments’.


Next we moved onto a story about a man who likes cheese. Cheese, cheese, cheese – morning, noon and night!  He had a very funny walk too.


One day he discovered his cheese had gone…… But who had taken it? Cue – lots of wonderful ideas from the children. Lots of participation making animal noise and finishing off sentences to create the story. No laughing or giggling  allowed!! All he wanted to do was eat his cheese in peace, but various animals were getting in the way. It was being taken by the mice, so he got a cat to chase the mice. Then a dog to chase the cat, a lion to chase the dog, an elephant to chase the lion. So of course, he needed to get a mouse to chase the elephant, who loved cheese! And so on and on it went.


Humpty Dumpty made an appearance too. We learned the truth about Humpty! Humpty was a great big gun or cannon, sitting on a castle wall. The cannon was knocked off the wall and all the King’s men (and horses) tried to fix it. The image of Humpty as an egg was developed by Lewis Carroll in ‘Alice through the looking glass’. Interesting.

We then moved on to famous people from Garston. Peter Baker was a pirate, so rich he bought the whole of Garston and become Lord mayor .  We enjoyed the ‘Baker the taker’ rhyme.

Sir Alfred Lewis Jones was involved with ships. He became very rich. In 1910 he used £10,000 of his own money to build a hospital. At the entrance to the gardens of the new Garston health centre there is a memorial to Sir Alfred for building the hospital. He also brought and introduced bananas to Britain. More about that later…….! We then created the rhyme ‘Thank you Sir Alfred Lewis Jones’. Children were asked to generate their own rhyming words to write a rhyme. We started with Jones and got a rhyming string of moans, groans, stones, phones, bones, cones. We ended up with….

        Thank you Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, fix our bodies, fix our bones.              

        No more groans, no more moans. Thank you Sir Alfred Lewis Jones.

Thanks for the hospital, thanks for the money, thanks for the medicine, sweet as honey.

Thank you for bananas, tasty and yummy, in their skin then in my tummy!        

        Thank you Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, fix our bodies, fix our bones.

        No more groans, no more moans. Thank you Sir Alfred Lewis Jones. 


We started again after break, with a fun repeating rhyme to get warmed up! ”Don’t go wandering into the wood’. Watch out for the beast. Is it real or only in their imagination? Imaginations were working over time! ‘And stop that shouting!’

Now to make a poem using our senses about Garston. We recalled our 5 senses and talked about using describing words (adjectives) to really bring an image to life.  The other class wrote about Garston Park – Garston park is…… Where in Garson could we write about? Garston town – St Mary’s Road was suggested. If someone had never been here before, this poem could help them imagine exactly what it is like. So …..

Saint Mary’s Road is…..the sight of fast cars, speedy motor bikes and big, double decker, gigantic buses.          

                                   …..the sound of beep beeping horns and nee-naming sirens.

                                   …..the touch of a cold, metal lamppost, hard and smooth, frosty and spikey.

                                   …..the smell of smoky oily fumes.

                                   …..and the taste of freezing air, steamy and misty EVERYWHERE!

image image

We finished by listening to a poem written by the other class all about bananas, describing one to someone who had never seen one before, telling them exactly what they were like. Also a poem about little brothers football – a true story with some  of John’s imaginative embellishments!

In the afternoon we had a story about a wish, about  a man who wished he could make something that would last forever. So he made a coat. But it didn’t last forever. It started to wear out at the bottom. So he decided he wouldn’t throw it away, he could make it into something else – a jacket. But that wore away too, so he cut it down and made it into a waistcoat. When that wore away he cut it down into a scarf. Finally the scarf wore away too he made it into handkerchief. Finally he only had a tiny button left, so he made it into a brooch. And eventually the button brooch crumbled to nothing. With nothing left, he realised he could make a story about it. A story can be told and retold and will last forever. So he did get his wish! Including the repeated refrain ‘Oh la la. Wow-we. Get you, in your matching shoes!’

image image image

And then we started to create a  short story with an intriguing beginning…..

‘Don’t look in this box!’ Shouted Jeanie. There was a basket box in the school annexe. There was a lid on the top. ‘Don’t look in this box!’ Repeated Jeanie. When Jeanie went off to the toilet, Dylan had a cheeky grin. ‘Don’t you dare’ said Esme. ‘Go on Dylan!’ shouted Samuel. Dylan crept close to the box…….

A good opening to the story. Children helped to act out this part of the story, while John read it out. The reader would be keen to read more to find out what happens!

What fun! The children were mesmerised and engaged in equal measure. They all became writers, storytellers and poets. Even if you are just learning or find it hard to write and spell, the key thing to remember is just enjoy playing with words and language and the rest will come in time.  Fabulous sessions. Thank you John.

Day 2 – ‘Tagging Garston’ with John

image image image

The children were once again very excited to be working with John, listening to funny, scary and fabulous stories and poems – sometimes real, sometimes fantasy! We warmed up by revisiting ‘Grandad’s beard’ and the story of ‘The man who loved cheese’. What made these stories so good was the fact that the children were contributing, by sharing their own ideas, words and language.

image image image

Then back to our poem about Sir Alfred Lewis Jones. This time we were learning how to perform our poem!

Then we returned to our suspense story. ‘What’s in the box?’ The children had parts and were acting out their story. We thought about each character and used adjectives to describe each one. We used bossy, cheeky, sensible, intelligent, curious and frightened. We then added some more……

”Don’t” shouted ESme. “Go on, Dylan,” repeated Samuel. “No!” “Yes!” “No!” “Yes!”

Dylan put his hand on the lid. Slowly, he opened the box, then opened his mouth. “Don’t jump in!” Shouted Esme. “Jump in!” shouted Samuel. Dylan jumped into the box. Esme tried to grab Dylan and she got pulled into the box. Samuel tried to run away but was pulled in by the box’s magic. 

“It’s sunny!” said Dylan. “This is a farm!” said Esme. “Wo!” said Samuel ……..

We finished the morning session and started the afternoon session with a new poem about John’s kind Granny. “Grandma let’s us make a noise. Hip, hip, hooray!” Very amusing!


Then we moved onto making up nonsense poetry. We started with lines with no writing on!

– – – / – – – / – –

– – – / – – – / – –

– – – / – –

– – – / – –

– – – / – – – / – –

This gave us the rhythm for our nonsense rhyme. Our poem is called a limerick. We looked at the rhythm in words by splitting the word into chunks or syllables. We wanted to write a limerick about Garston Park. We also had to make sure the words at the end of each line rhymed. We generated a rhyming string of words thar rhymed with park – dark, lark, mark, bark, shark and  away – day, May, pay, say, clay etc. This is what the children came up with.

There was a / cow in Gar / ston Park,

Who went moo / and boo in / an ark.

The pig ran / a way,

The bear went / to play,

The hy e / na laughed at the shark.

We then went on to perform our limerick. The children were invited to ask John questions about him being an author. They asked everything – what is his favourite food, what’s it like to be a poet, and what’s his favourite story? Good questions.

Another fantastic day of words, which the children thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you very much once again John.

%d bloggers like this: