The front cover of the book describes Shakespeare as ‘the world’s greatest writer’. This introductory session is designed to get children thinking about writers they know and also the qualities that they consider makes a writer great.
- Write the following sentence opening on the board:
- The world’s greatest …
Ask children to discuss in pairs:
- How could this sentence end?
Share ideas before adding the word ‘writer’ to the end of the sentence. Ensure each child has a sticky note and ask them to write the name of the person they think of when they see the sentence:
‘The world’s greatest writer is …’
They should write the name down without any discussion at this point.
Next, ask the children to stick the names onto either the whiteboard or another large surface. Invite the class to look at the names on the notes asking:
- Do any authors appear more than once?
- Are there any authors you haven’t heard of before?
Introduce the terms, ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ by offering a statement like:
The greatest writer of all time is (insert name of author here).
Ask the class:
- Is this a fact or an opinion?
Explain that this is subjective because it is a personal opinion. Others may agree or disagree.
To listen carefully to the syllables in words and use them to create a rhythm pattern
- Collect some percussion instruments or use those you have made yourself.
- Have a look at the Potter Puppet Pals video ‘A Mysterious Ticking Noise’ to remind yourself of what can be achieved!
Distribute copies of Ossiri and the Bala Mengro and ask the children to look for multisyllabic words. Revisit the meaning of syllable. Ask for examples and collect them. Some ideas are:
- Bala Mengro
- Tattin Django
Group the children and distribute the instruments so that each group has similar instruments, for example, a shaker group, a drumming group.
Allow each group to choose a word. Decide together how the word will be performed, and whether syllables are elongated or staccato.
Explain that you are the conductor of the Bala Mengro orchestra, and when you point at a group, they will begin, and when you point again they will stop.
Allow the children to perform, matching percussion to speech.
Challenge them to change the tempo.
Can groups of children make a new performance piece using different words; their names for example?
Can the children think of a way of recording their rhythm patterns pictorially, so they can play them again?