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Supporting the literacy strategy of Falkirk Children's Services

What happens in Active Literacy Reading? Sharing Learning with Families


Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Services and School Improvement Team has developed a range of materials to share with parents and carers about what happens in their children’s classrooms.

Mums, grans, aunties, big sisters and little sisters from St. Patricks R.C.P.S. in Denny shared one of these experiences at their ‘Girls Night In’.

Sharon demonstrated how teachers use a range of texts (in this case, Michael Rosen’s ‘Chocolate Cake’ poem) to develop the six reading comprehension strategies.

Firstly, the ‘big’ girls had a competition to see how many types of chocolate bars and how many characters they could spot in the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ film trailer. This was a close competition! Sharon then ascertained their prior knowledge and experience of ‘chocolate’ by asking some open questions and asking the girls to put the word ‘chocolate’ into a sentence.

A recital of Michael Rosen’s ‘Chocolate Cake’ poem was well received with lots of giggles and laughter. The girls then drew ‘visualisers’ demonstrating their knowledge of the main ideas in the poem. One girl was able to make excellent comparisons between Bruce Bogtrotter (Matilda) and the little boy in the poem – very impressive!

The girls then eloquently answered a range of questions relating to inference. When asked what the little boy should have for his play piece after sneaking up in the middle of the night and demolishing a whole chocolate cake, the girls replied “Nothing!” or “Well, maybe a piece of fruit!”

The session concluded with the girls all trying out a sample of chocolate cake, whilst at the same time offering some fantastic adjectives to describe the smell, taste and whole experience.

All of the girls left the workshop with big smiles on their faces (and maybe a few sticky, icky fingers!).

Feedback from this session  included:

I liked the poem about the little boy who liked the chocolate cake.

Direct quote: I like the poam wif a litel boy wot likt choclt caik.  (Primary 1)

It was very good – I loved the story of the cake – thank you (Sophie P3)

We enjoyed hearing the story of the chocolate cake – we had lots of laughs during the session.

Good idea to introduce Literacy activities this time!

Chocolate cake workshop was worthwhile – something a bit different!

We wish we had visited the chocolate cake workshop – heard lots of good things about it.

More sessions like this are coming soon to a school near you! For further information, please contact Sharon.wallace@falkirk.gov.uk

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