Archive for June 4th, 2008
Now THAT was a REALLY fun day of lessons throughout the whole of Key Stage Two. This time, at Olney Middle School, Milton Keynes. We laughed all day and the staff and children rose to so many challenges with total enthusiasm. A real delight.
There were quite a few children who surprised themselves (and their teachers I believe) with the quality of their writing. In addition to this, a select group acted out roles as if they were characters in the fantasy worlds. What remarkable confidence and, at times, wit they showed. Enchanting.
When we talked with the children about metaphor today, I refered to one of my favourite poems, The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyse.
This great descriptive narrative poem includes many superb similes and metaphors. My favourites occur in the first verse:
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor…
The moon, of course, is not a pirate ship, but that image is so evocative and powerful that it has stuck in my mind since Mr Moon, my teacher at primary school, (THE Cliff Moon of “The Cliff Moon Readability List” by the way.) first read it to us.
The “Stand and Deliver” site includes many poems and texts about highwaymen.
The Outlaws and Highwaymen site includes texts, ballads, letters etc illustrating the history of Medieval outlaws and English highwaymen.
The gruesome sounding Murder Files contains information on British murders, executions and executioners over last 300 years. Some of these include highwaymen and women and those that despatched them.
The whole poem is presented in a style that makes it easy to read on a whiteboard HERE at the Teachers First site. This includes some excellent annotation.
However, one of the most effective and well presented resources I have found for many years, is to be found HERE at Britannica Dreams site. It contains a machinima film set to music and the text of the poem, all set to some great audio.
Thank you to Alison Waspe, her colleagues and pupils at Olney Middle School. A great day at a great school. Well done!
“On to Oxford, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his laptop brandished high!”
Alf Red-Noise 1432 (just after half past two!)