Oxfordshire Improving Boys’ Writing Course

| June 5, 2008 | 2 Comments 

A second, and very much enjoyable, training day for schools in Oxfordshire, organised by the Oxfordshire Primary National Strategy Literacy team, this time at Hawkwell House, in Iffley, just outside Oxford.

I often get staff, or pupils, to come up with whacky ideas for why Mr Walker, my walking stick, has holes. For example:

He was hit with loads of fencing swords.

A tube that lets out laughing gas

Secret storage.

Mr Walker is an unknown doorknob in disguise and fits into one and only one special door and the holes are the keys. The top knob is the doorknob.

Mr walker has holes for a hair curler

A multi-storey hotel for woodworm.

Mr walker is a jet pack

It could be a bazooka which fires red ants

A runway for flying bugs.

A spiritual stick for tribes to store ancient message

A spaghetti maker.

A karate wisdom plank.

That’s not a word!!

Well, it is now!

One of my other favourite starters for a bit of wittering , is to get people to suggest definitions of the word “Fligminkle”

Fligminkle is a word invented my daughter Ellie. It has, up until now, been a pseudo Googlewhack (although that should be a two word search) in that there was only one other reference to it on the interweb.

I would like to change that! How many suggestions can you get your students (or colleagues) to come up with for what the TRUE meaning of fligminkle is.

e.g. “It always happens to me at parties, especially after a few pork pies.” (Thanks Tom)

“The real word for the fluff that gathers on the filter in a tumble drier.”

A large game of Call my Bluff across a whole classroom.

Try Amblesides Call My Bluff, made by the children.

I find that being able to argue your case for a convincing definition helps when you are cheating at Scrabble! (try an online, whiteboard game of Scrabble HERE.)

Here are just some of the definitions that the folk from today came up with:

Fligminkle (n)
The name of a newly discovered beetle in the Amazon Rainforest named after the Dutch scientist who discovered it

Fligminkle (n)
When one doesn’t know where one is going, one is a fligminkle.

Fligminkle: (n) The sense of achievement you get when you complete post-course tasks!

Fligminkle (n)
A small insect from the Amazonian Rainforest.

Fligminkle (n)
A furry creature

Fligminkle (n)
A fantasy character

Fligminkle (n)
Getting in a muddle, state of confusion

Fligminkle (n)
Name of a strange small person from the land of Frig

Fligminkle (n)
Character from Lord of the Rings.

Fligminkle (n)
Little people who live at the bottom of the wardrobe and hide your shoes.

Fligminkle (n)
A prehistoric nocturnal land mammal.

Fligminkle (n)
Small nocturnal weasel type creature – now extinct.

Fligminkle (n)
One of Queen Titania’s fairies in Midsummer Nights’ Dream – not  mentioned in Shakespeare’s play due to a mysterious incident.

Fligminkle (n)
A cocktail made from fruit of the flig tree that has been mixed with milk, vodka and lemon juice.

Fligminkle (n)
The name of my first born child (when I have one)!

Thank you to Nilofer Khan, Stephanie Hilder, Amanda King, Emma Stinga, their colleagues and the staff who attended todays explorations of the worlds of words.


Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (2)

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  1. Anna Poole says:

    Once again another amazingly inspirational day… even more fantastic ideas to add to my MYST collection..
    Our Y3/4’s (including staff) have loved using MYST and it shows through their enthusiasm and engagement – oh and the quality of their writing….

    Thank you Tim

  2. Jason Collison says:

    While still fresh in my mind, I decided to ‘try out’ the desert landscape and used it on Friday afternoon as a real test. The group spent an hour and a half, coming up with some fab description, Even got a few groans when we had to finish and go to assembly before we went home.

    The staff I managed to show very quickly thought it looked great, with a couple of them deperate to have a go this week.

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