The Works 8
MacMillan (ISBN 978-0-330-46407-9) £7.99
Entertaining as well as educational, this comprehensive anthology contains every shape, style and form of poem that you will need to teach poetry in the primary classroom. The sixty-four different types of poem are arranged alphabetically and the selection includes examples of less well-known forms such as clerihews, tanka and triolets along with popular forms such as acrostics, haiku, cinquains, kennings, epitaphs and raps.
Two rhyming dictionaries that will help children not only to find rhymes, but also with their spelling.
Oxford First Rhyming Dictionary
Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0-19-911682-9)
'John Foster's colourful and accessible First Rhyming Dictionary is a wonderful resource for young writers. Containing 1,200 rhyming words, it pays special attention to words that rhyme but are spelled differently. There are 60 original poems too, plus humorous artwork.' Junior Education.
Oxford Junior Rhyming Dictionary
Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0-19-911683-6)
'The primary use of a rhyming dictionary is as an aid to writing rhyming poetry. This one scores over others of its genre by virtue of the fact that the author, John Foster, is a popular children's poet experienced in motivating children to write. A 13-page chapter called 'Wrote your own poetry' serves as an introduction to a range of simple poetic forms and rhyming patterns. It includes a wealth of infectious examples and starters that make the idea of writing poems seem not only inviting but positively easy.' Michael Kirby.
The Glow-worms series is the poetry strand of the Oxford Reading Tree. The books feature poems by well-known contemporary children's poets on themes that have been specially chosen to match topics that are relevant to children aged 4-8.
- are designed to be used to introduce poetry in the classroom
- are linked to themes in the Oxford Reading Tree stories, so can be used in conjunction with them
- use a core of high frequency words
- develop phonological skills through rhyme, alliteration and spelling patterns
- are illustrated in a wide range of styles to enhance children's enjoyment of poetry
The Age of the Dinosaurs – A musical
‘The Age of the Dinosaurs’ a musical consisting of 14 of John’s poems, set to music by award-winning music teacher Matthew Coatsworth, was performed by children from Kidlington primary schools at the Kidstock Festival in July.
A copy of the lyrics and the linking narration, a CD of the songs and the sheet music for the piano are available to teachers interested in putting on a performance. Either contact John or contact Matthew Coatsworth at West Kidlington Primary School, Oxfordshire.
Let’s Write – Activities to Develop the Writing Skills of 7-11 year olds
To be published in January 2014 by Routledge
Let’s Write offers a wealth of suggestions for approaches to developing primary school pupils’ writing skills that will capture the children’s interest, while enabling them to improve their ability to express themselves in writing. It aims to meet the requirements of the new national curriculum for English at KS2 in a way that will develop the children’s standard of writing by presenting activities that they will find enjoyable and stimulating.
Throughout the book, the emphasis is on providing activities that will engage the pupils in a discussion of how texts are structured, before producing their own writing. John Foster suggests a range of imaginative tasks that both literacy specialists and non-specialists will find useful in developing children’ ability to write coherently and correctly.
Let’s Write includes:
- A clear explanation of the writing process with activities designed to improve pupils’ drafting skills.
- Examples of the different types of writing for pupils to analyse, which they can use as models for their own writing.
- A range of imaginative ideas for writing tasks, together with suggestions of curriculum opportunities for practising particular forms.
- Writing challenges which can be used to stretch more able writers and thus to introduce differentiation by task, as well as by outcome.
- Writing tips, for example, on sentence structure and paragraph structure, appropriate to the different types of writing.
- Activities involving pupils in the assessment of their writing.
- A section on writing correctly, focussing on grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- A section containing games and activities designed to extend pupils’ vocabulary.
Let’s Write provides teachers with a lively collection of resources that will be welcomed by teachers and that will help to develop children’s writing.
Learning About Language – Activities for the Primary Classroom
This recent book provides a comprehensive coverage of everything that the primary school pupil needs to know about the English language. The book provides teachers of literacy with clear explanations of the terms that pupils need to know, arranged alphabetically for ease of reference, together with details of activities that can be used to develop pupil’s understanding of the English language.
A particular feature of the book is that it contains a number of poems, designed to present key information about features of language in a lively and original manner. The aim is to foster an interest in words and how they fit together, to provide ways of playing with words and to make exploring the English language fun.
Each section focuses on a different feature of the English language. The various sections
- examine subjects such as spelling, punctuation and grammar
- explore aspects of words such as their origin and meaning, their similarities and differences e.g. homonyms, anagrams and synonyms
- explain particular uses of language for example, in the sections on clichés, idioms, metaphors and similes
- show how language is used humorously in jokes, puns and riddles and by poets using wordplay in forms such as limericks. There are also sections on the humorous misuse of words – on malapropisms and spoonerisms
- include numerous opportunities for students to consolidate their learning in a variety of activities, including word games.
The book, provides teachers of English, both specialists and non-specialists, with a lively bank of resources for learning about the English language.
Learning About Language is published by Routledge in.
ISBN 978-0-415-53681-3 (pbk)
ISBN 978-0-203-11116-1 (ebk)
John Foster’s other recently published books include Cool Cars and Amazing Escapes in the Collins Big Cat series.
Listen to John's Poems
Hint: The default volume is quite low. You may want to turn it up but make sure there are no Grannies with sensitive hearing in the vicinity.
Sean's Short Shorts.
Ten Dancing Dinosaurs
4 o'clock Friday
Hear John reading more of his poems in the Children’s poets section of The Poetry Archive at www.poetryarchive.org