Category Archives: English

What is the easiest way to help and encourage children to write using varied sentence structures?

It is difficult to think of much in the English language that is more complex than a sentence.

It can be short.  It can alternatively be very long and involve all sorts of diversions along the way before reaching its final conclusion, which in this case might be that it is the sheer variety of sentence structures that cause the problem with teaching sentence structure.

And having written that sentence, we might then think it was too complex anyway.

But whatever way we look at it, by 11 pupils of all abilities are expected to be able to write using varied sentence structures.

Thus the question arises: what is the most effective way of helping children meet this aim of being able to write in this manner?

Answering this question is made all the harder to answer because many children do seem to pick up the concept of varied sentence structures simply from their reading and from hearing varied adult conversation.

So we’ve been working on this issue for some time, and we’ve come up with a series of ready-made 15-minute sessions that build on each other.

By completing the daily sessions, pupils will have at their fingertips a system for creating imaginative and interesting writing in as little as six weeks.  As a result attainment within all ability ranges increases.

And there is one added bonus. For most children exposure to the 15 minute sessions not only shows them how to write varied, meaningful sentences, but it also raises confidence and self-esteem, thus enhancing achievement in all school subjects that are language based.

There are more details on how the “Daily Sentence Structure” programme works here.

The programme is available as a printed book and an ebook and can be ordered from our website. www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/daily-sentence-structures-2nd-edition-667

If you have any questions please do contact us. Our details are on our website: https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/contact-us

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, homework, Key Stage 2, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

From one oxymoron to another

It could be argued that any creative writing that your pupils are required to undertake as part of the curriculum is something of an oxymoron. You must encourage your pupils to think outside the box whilst providing evidence that they can use fronted adverbials, adjective-packed noun phrases, and other grammatical structures.

Moving from one oxymoron to another, the Brilliant Activities for Creative Writing Series Pack will help pupils to understand how to plan their writing whilst allowing their imagination to run freely by encouraging them to talk about their ideas, try out sentences orally, and listen to others’ comments about their work. What could be more of an oxymoron than encouraging children to talk in a writing lesson!?

With meaningful discussion and careful questioning from yourself, your pupils’ writing skills will flourish.

Click here for more information and to see sample pages

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school

Dr Jekyll was a nice man, really …

There are two reactions when people know my job; I’ve started to wonder if I’m both Jekyll and Hyde, at the same time.

It is not so much that people ask me what I do, it is rather that when they hear what my job is, they make assumptions.

You see: I’m a publisher.  To some that makes me one of the good guys.  To others I’m evil incarnate.  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in fact.  Both at the same time.

Dr Jekyll, the old friend, the nice guy, the one who helps people out; I publish books teachers quite like, and indeed, if you fancy writing a book, it is possible I can bring it to the attention of teachers all over the UK.

Edward Hyde, on the other hand, evil personified; he’ll probably take your book, eat it, and then set fire to your house.

Now, to explain….  I don’t think I am suffering from dissociative identity disorder (although on the other hand, if I am, how would I know?) which was the condition that Robert Louis Stephenson was told by others he was in fact writing about.

Stephenson later said he was so appalled at the idea that he was describing an actual medical condition rather than an allegory, he burned the original Jekyll and Hyde manuscript and started again.  (There’s no evidence for this, but it all adds to the book mystique; it was probably dreamed up by his publisher’s head of publicity.)

But no; when teachers send me books to consider for publication I do not burn them.  Not at all.  Never.  Not once.  Really.  Not at all.

No, my colleagues and I read the outlines and if we like the outline and think we could sell a fair number of copies, we ask to see the whole book.  Then if we still like it, we arrange for printing or creating an e-book.  Then we advertise it a lot, all at our own expense, and then we pay the author a fee for each book sold.

Edward Hyde, had he been a publisher, would, I suspect, have killed off each of his writers.  If you are worried about this you can look me up on the police database.  No charges for attempted murder of authors on file.

So that’s my point: we are the good guys – the Dr Jekyll without the propensity for assassinations or personality changing potions.

And indeed as the good guys we have even published a Graphic Revision Guide for The Strange Case of Dr J and Mr H, suitable for GCSE Literature students.

I’d recommend you have a look – although preferably without first dabbling with any strange potions.

And if you fancy writing a book for us, there are details of how to go about submitting it here.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 4, National Curriculum, Secondary school

Free Grammar and Punctuation activities addressing the requirements of the English Programmes of Study for KS1 and KS2

A pupil who is well-spoken is not necessarily a pupil who can write well, not least because he/she might speak with perfect punctuation and grammar but have difficulty applying the same rules to his/her writing. Continue reading

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, homework, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school

Celebrate National Poetry Day with lions in the garden!

Today is National Poetry Day and to celebrate we are giving away ‘Lions in the Garden’ a poem by Charlotte Makhlouf from Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension, Year 4. The poem comes with questions, word work and extension work, making it easy to use in a lesson.

To download your free copy, click here.

https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/pages/render_page/104

Lions in the Garden

Lions in the Garden

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Filed under English, Key Stage 2

We are GIVING AWAY a handy reference booklet for developing writing skills!

…from a dictionary and a map, to a ruler that I snapped! Continue reading

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, How children learn, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

FREE reading comprehension activities for Year One and Year Four

Take advantage of these free activity materials
from the Reading Comprehension Series Pack:

BPFarmyard

The Farmyard: story and activities (Year 1)

BPLions

Lions in the Garden: poem and activities (Year 4)

With the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Pack for Years 1 to Years 6 you can support your pupils on the journey from decoding texts to comprehending and thinking critically about texts.

The specially written passages in the Reading Comprehension Pack provide children with a variety of engaging texts, ranging from newspaper articles and dialogues, to plays, stories, and poems.

Activities range from simple factual recall and vocabulary work to open-ended questions – enabling the reader to provide a more personal response. There are also detailed suggestions for integrating writing, speaking and other literacy tasks with the passages.

The texts and activities gradually increase in difficulty as your pupils progress through the book (and through the series), encouraging children to develop their ability to read for meaning and use a range of strategies to engage with the text.

You can order the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension series for just £95 at https://www.brilliantpublications.co.uk/book/brilliant-activities-for-reading-comprehension-series-pack-2nd-edition-518.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, National Curriculum, Poems and poetry, Primary school, Teaching Ideas