Write a reading scheme

Here’s something for you to have a go at during the long evenings while you’re waiting for the snow to melt (some time in July possibly) in the UK. 

Take two sheets of plain A4 paper.  Fold and cut them in half, so you now have 4 sheets of A5 paper.  Fold these together, so you now have an A6 sized booklet with 7 double pages and a cover.  Add one staple to hold it together. 

That was the easy part. 

Now you have to write the story.  Here are the rules. 

  • The story needs to have a beginning, a middle and an end. 
  • It needs to hold together in a roughly coherent sort of way (sometimes more roughly than others).
  • It can contain a maximum of 14 sentences.
  • Sentences need to be short, eight words will be plenty long enough. 
  • You can use any of the key words which we have already practised.  (So far we’re up to around twenty five words).
  • You can introduce two or three new key words, but new vocabulary must be repeated at least a couple of times during the story. 
  • Any other nouns or verbs must be immediately guessable from the illustrations. 

Now you have to illustrate it. 

  • Pictures should be simple and colourful.
  • Pictures should clearly illustrate the text.  So “carrot” is a good choice, but you might want to edit “ratatouille” unless you are a very good artist.
  • Plan to repeat this exercise twice a week for the next couple of months (we have eight books in our series so far and Joni says he wants twenty), so unless you have a lot of time on your hands you probably shouldn’t try and compete with Rembrandt.
  • Pictures may be plagiarised from the internet.  However personally, I have found that it is easier to do a bunch of simple outline drawings with the trusty felt tip pens rather than trawl through six screens of stuff that I don’t want. 

All in all I’m beginning to understand why in the tedious reading scheme that I grew up with, Peter and Jane never did anything more exciting than play with a ball or help Mummy in the kitchen. 

But here’s the twist:-

“Write one about Pirates next Mummy.  They have to fight and then they have to look for treasure”. 

You have one minute to speak on the subject of Pirates without repetition, hesitation, or deviation.  Participants will receive one point for a correct challenge, and a point for whoever is speaking when the whistle goes…  Sorry, wrong game. 

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