Books for Teachers

Let's Do Poetry In Primary Schools!

(Bloomsbury/A&C Black) October 2012

Winner of the 2013 Primary Teacher Update Silver Award

Let's do poetry in primary schools cover

LET'S DO... has one simple manifesto: children love poetry, so readily respond to poetry, so why not integrate it into the everyday activities of the classroom? Poetry is perfect for reading, for writing, for sharing, for performing - and moreover, exploring class topics and so many aspects of the curriculum. LET'S a fun, accessible and very practical guide to give teachers the tools, the mind set and the confidence to put poetry at the heart of the classroom and everyday learning. The manual provides teachers with exciting games and warm-ups, innovative ideas and creative workshops for cross-curricular activities, and a wide-ranging poetry anthology of age appropriate poems, tools for reading and performing poems and setting up a poetry-rich classroom. Ultimately it shows that all it takes is six or so poetic forms with which to create language-rich and expressive responses to all the topic and curricular work that you cover in the academic year.

Excellent book to spark off ideas for poetry in older children. Good and varied choice of poetry included and helpful suggestions on how to introduce poetry for the first time. Our after school club really enjoyed this and came up with some amazing poems of their own. Innovative ideas of how to explore the many forms of poetry.

Primary Teacher Update Award

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Creating Writers

A creative writing manual for schools

Routledge, October 2000
Revised and updated November 2009

Creating Writers book cover

This fully revised and updated creative writing manual covers fiction non–fiction and poetry, and contains writing tips from a wide range of children’s authors – including Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, David Almond, Philip Pullman, Malorie Blackman, Roger McGough and Pie Corbett. There are also a great many exciting and practical writing workshop activities. Suitable for KS2/KS3.

Every school should have a copy of Creating Writers!

Pie Corbett
Educationalist, poet

I’m extremely impressed with Creating Writers and I refer to it and recommend it during school visits and talks. It really explores its subject, and offers an important, beautifully–researched and well–expressed alternative to shallow, quick–fix approaches to creative writing.

David Almond
Novelist/Carnegie Medal–winning author of Skellig

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Music, images and text to inspire creative writing

Routledge, 2nd edition November 2011

Just Imagine book cover

Just Imagine is both a book and a music CD - and an exciting, unique and versatile resource that provides teaches with practical, stimulating activities for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Taking three differen t but interconnected media by which to generate and explore creative writing - ‘Text/Themes’, ‘Images’ and ‘Music’ - this innovative book/CD offers inspiration for a whole range of writing workshops.

This second edition of this popular and critically-acclaimed book has three new tracks on the music CD, along with many new images (photographs, illustrations etc) and also new interview clips with a range of award-winning and popular children's authors (Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Deary and many others). Sets of activities and teachers' notes accompany each of the selected pieces and stimuli throughout, all of which can be easily adapted according to the needs of individual classes. Ideal for KS2/KS3 and beyond.

This has the exciting richness which all the best books in this field have – it tantalises, inviting and exciting the reader.

Pie Corbett
Educationalist, poet

A godsend for teachers. I’m an English teacher, with experience of teaching English at KS3, KS4 and KS5. I bought this because I found that many pupils found it difficult to get going on a creative writing task, and I found giving them a ‘topic’ to write about (such as ‘My memorable Christmas’ or ‘The Stranger’) was unimaginative. This book comes with a great range of writing prompts and ideas to get their creative flow going. I’ve used this book several times a week since I got it – it’s worth its weight in gold! The notes inside also say that due to the nature of the tasks (audio & visual, rather than written prompts), that the stimuli can be used from KS2 right up to A–level and adult learning, and I agree entirely. Thumbs up!


Amazon website

This is an invaluable resource for those of you who, like me, value the impact the Arts can have on developing literacy. The Literacy Strategy has sucked the creativity out of teaching language and writing – this gem can help restore it. Highly recommended.


Amazon website

This book really inspired me and my class to write stories for a wide range of purposes. It made the children use their imaginations...The many ideas are easy to understand...And very adaptable. Highly recommended.


Amazon website

A very inspiring book for creative writing sessions. The CD is particulary useful to create mood/atmosphere for sessions which children really enjoy. The book has a wide range of ideas for different types of writing which can be used directly or adapted to suit your class.


Amazon website

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Page to Stage

Developing writing, speaking and listening
skills in primary schools

Routledge, December 2004

Page to Stage book cover

Book/CD that focusses upon a) a range of poetry writing workshops in free verse, rhythm & rhyme, imagery & metaphor and b) poetry performing skills.

I’ve just used this excellent book and CD with a Year 5/6 class to do a unit of work on performance poetry. As a PGCE student, I found the suggestions and information invaluable. My class loved ‘Fuss Fuss Fuss – The Goldilocks Rap’ and were soon suggesting their own rap–speak and actions to develop their performance. Having the CD to play to the children was also really useful as they were able to hear what the rap could sound like and discuss what they liked and how they might do it differently before they started. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone teaching poetry, particularly with KS2 children.


PGCE student
Amazon website

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Talking Books

Children’s authors talk about the craft,
creativity and process of writing

Routledge, May 1999

Talking Books book cover

A collection of in–depth interviews with children’s authors – including Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Deary, Benjamin Zephaniah and Philip Pullman.

Highly recommended, not only for primary and secondary teachers of children’s books (for whom it will provide fascinating and stimulating background material), but also for secondary teachers of literature, media studies, and creative writing, and also the general reader.

Professor Peter Hunt
Cardiff University

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