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Teacher Robyn Churchman

We are constantly amazed by children’s creativity!

Fab primary school teacher Robyn Churchman and her year 6 class at Soho Parish CE Primary School created their own Tiny Owl book. Just like one of our books in the One Story, Many Voices series, they decided to retell an old folk tale in a new way.

They chose the Japanese story Momotaro. Robyn has written a great blog all about the process of creating the book for us. Read it below!

 

Twit-twoo from Year 6 at Soho Parish CE Primary School!

 

We decided to follow in the footsteps of Tiny Owl, as we were shown some facts from a study by CLPE. In 2017, only 4% of children’s books published contained a BAME character and only 1% had a BAME main character. Using our Book Week theme, which was ‘Beyond the Box’, we wanted to change this.

Firstly, we used iPads to research different traditional tales from around the world. We came across a Japanese story called ‘Momotaro’, which translates to ‘Peach Boy’. In Japan, ‘Momotaro’ is one of the most famous folk tales and has been told for many years; but only one of us had heard the story before. It tells the tale of a young boy who was born from a peach and grows up to become a warrior.

We started by re-writing the story in rhyming verse. In partners, we each wrote a part of the story into a four line stanza before combining them all together to form the book. We also decided to type the text to make sure that they writing looked identical throughout the book.

We then began to illustrate our story. We each focused either on a character or a background setting. We then photocopied the characters so that they could reappear throughout the book. Lastly, we gathered all of our work together, stuck the characters onto the right settings and made sure that each page was in order. We really enjoyed doing this because it was quite different to some of the activities that we normally do during Book Week.

It was really interesting to have the chance to read traditional tales from around the world, rather than the ones we are already familiar with. A child in our class has Japanese heritage and he loved teaching us all about this story and its roots. We think that it’s really important to make sure that characters in books come from all over the world, because this will make every child feel like they are represented in books.

Thank you to Robyn for sharing this experience with us! To all her students, we’re seriously impressed with your book! Never stop expressing your creativity!

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