Category Archives: Sarah Lean

Gory Gladiators at Patcham Juniors

A couple of weeks ago, Patcham Juniors’ adopted author, Sarah Lean set the class a writing task. They had to describe a setting, lets read her email below:

I hope you found the mind maps useful to collect some ideas.

The setting is the place where things happen.

Leo imagines he is an amphitheatre, fighting bears or the gladiator of old, wearing a helmet

and with crowds cheering him on.

Imagine an amphitheatre…

In stories, a writer needs to think about the setting using all the senses: SIGHT, HEARING, SMELL, TASTE AND TOUCH, and also what it FEELS LIKE to be in a place.

Write a couple of paragraphs about a gladiator who is waiting underground and then comes into the amphitheatre to face their enemy. Describe what they would see, hear, smell, taste and what things are like to touch. It’s also important to know how they feel in that place. No need to do a battle scene, but concentrate on describing the place as fully as possible.

Things to think about:

What might a bear or lion smell like?

What does a huge crowd sound like?

How big is the amphitheatre?

What do the walls of the cells underground feel like to touch?

How does it feel to be wearing a helmet? Can the gladiator see clearly?

How does it feel to come out of the cold shadows underground to a hot arena?

The responses were fantastic as always and actually pretty gory! Here are two of our favourites:

Now, the pieces are gory, but also atmospheric and quite vivid! It’s almost like a film script, you can just imagine how the gladiator is feeling in that moment. How fantastic.

Well done Year 3 and I think Sarah agreed:

Dear Year 3

Thank you for showing me your work. I am impressed by the sense of danger and fear that you have all described in the anxious moments before a gladiator has to go out into the amphitheatre. Using all the senses brings the writing to life to conjure up a terrifying moment.

Herbie created super tension with the questions the gladiator is asking himself, something a writer works hard to do. And what a dramatic moment for the gladiator to be faced with his son!

George’s description sounded like poetry, as did Isobel’s, which really conjured up the feel of the arena. There were some vivid descriptions, and I especially liked Bertie’s range of smells and the lovely image of light through the bars of the cage from Isaac, as well as Lewis’s alliteration of smashing swords.

Isabella asked good questions of the gladiator in her letter to get a whole range of the experience of the gladiator, and I thought it was a super idea from Jane to have the gladiator write to his mother as it turned the writing instantly into an emotional read.

Well done everyone. I hope you enjoyed it.

Sarah

 

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We’re talking about Peer Pressure, are you?

Patcham Juniors have been discussing a pretty important topic this week. They have been talking about peer pressure. Peer pressure is influence on a peer group, observers, or an individual that encourages others to change their way of thinking, their values, or behaviours to follow or copy those of the influencing group or individual. Sometimes, this means a peer group might want you to do or say something that you feel uncomfortable doing and it makes you think what is the right thing to do. Have you ever encountered this problem?

Class 3NS found a really good way of approaching the subject, by making use of all the nice weather (not today mind!) by doing a drama class outside and using role play to see what they would do! How cool is that?!

A visit to Patcham Juniors…

Patcham Juniors very kindly invited us to sit and listen to them read and today, we went travelled to their school to visit the class and to take a few pictures for you to see too. They were very well behaved and so welcoming too! I liked that the reading corner had soft squidgy cushions to sit on and quietly read ‘Hero’ and how some of the class were actively showing us all what the word ‘paced’ meant. I think there might be some actors in the class!

Best of all, was seeing some of you make the most of the glorious, warm sunshine and read a chapter outside! We were so jealous, we had to join in too.

So thankyou Patcham Juniors and we will see you again very soon!

 

Gladiators and Interior Designers

Last week, Patcham Juniors took descriptions from their book ‘Hero’ by their adopted author Sarah Lean and designed the main character, Leo’s bedroom! Well, needless to say, Sarah was pretty impressed. She said:

Thank you for showing me some of your work. Yes, Leo would have gladiator posters and glow in the dark stars in his bedroom and you have summed him up really well. Bertie is right that Leo is fairly shy, and as Laura wrote, he doesn’t like football. Leo does like to learn as Lilly mentioned, and he has a BIG imagination which he exercises all the time, which is what Grace so perfectly wrote.

The drawings were lovely, with great details from Dayna and I especially liked Nicole’s gladiator duvet cover. Oliver’s picture had a super 3D sense with the way he drew the furniture – are you a budding artist? I was very interested that Alfie said gladiators were like knights (you will find out why at the end of the book) and also that Herbie mentioned Leo might look like someone at school!

My favourite comment was from Sid – yes, daydreaming is just like writing stories. It’s why I love my job. I can daydream while I’m walking with my dogs and think about stories, and the more I exercise my imagination, the bigger it seems to get!

Well done everyone.

Sarah next task is an interesting one. Its inspired by the idea of peer pressure.

When I’m thinking about a character and their story I also think about who is going to be reading the book and the kinds of things that go on in their lives. So, this week I wondered if you’d like to have a discussion about Peer Pressure… (based around Chapters 5 and 6 of HERO)

To be a gladiator, Leo would have to carry a sword and defeat the gladiator of old. But actually Leo wants to be the kind of person that he thinks a gladiator is. Leo says, “I wanted other people to think I was brave, strong and worthwhile.” (p68)

What kind of person is Leo trying to be?

How could someone become brave, strong and worthwhile?

What kind of person would you like to be? (Calm, patient, loving, bold, courageous…)

As you may have read, Leo thinks he has to impress other people by doing the things that they do.

Warren says to Leo, “Thing is, some of us still aren’t sure you’ve got what it takes to hang out with us. You’re going to have to prove yourself first.” And then Warren tells Leo to push a mobility scooter into the pond. (p66)

Does Leo become a gladiator by pushing the scooter into the pond?

Do you think he is being brave, strong and worthwhile by doing this? If not, what kind of person is he being?

Why do you think Leo sinks the scooter even though it doesn’t feel right?

What would you have said to Warren if he had asked you to sink the scooter?

Maybe you could write a few lines about the kind of person you would like to be or, if you were Leo, what you would say to Warren.

 

Woodingdean, Stanford Juniors, Patcham Juniors and Carden Primary say a ginormous ‘GOOD DAY’ to you!

Its the first week of the project and each class have received their first emails from their authors!

Woodingdean have said ‘ALOHA! to their author Gary Northfield…

Hello!

I’ve been zipping around the country the last few weeks, telling everybody about Julius Zebra, reading from the book and showing them how I draw Julius. The jokes were brilliant lots of school children from all over the country told their favourite jokes.

Here’s one of the winners:

Knock knock!
Who’s There?
Interrupting cow!
Interrupting co…
MOOOOO!!!!!!!

ANYWAY! Who wants to learn how to draw JULIUS ZEBRA? Good!
When I draw my cartoon characters, I find it much easier to draw them by breaking up the character up into easy, manageable shapes. This way, it doesn’t seem very hard to draw at all. I’ve attached a worksheet which shows you how to draw Julius ready to fight as a gladiator!

aaaaaaand here are class 4PA drawing away and look at the results! Gary might have a team of illustrators on his hands..

 
drawing julius

IMG_5456  IMG_5446 IMG_5443 IMG_5463

you all in 4PA should be proud of yourselves, Julius has never looked finer!

 

Author Sarah Lean has cried a humongous ‘HIYA!’ to her class at Patcham Juniors…

A CONVERSATION WITH A DOG

When Harry was a puppy, I trained him to sit quietly in a basket on my bike. He also used to jump up on my seat where I had been writing when I went to make a cup of tea. I often pretended that he was talking to me and had something to say.
Dog

What do you imagine Harry might be saying in these photographs?

Ross Montgomery,  a tremendous WAVE to his class at Stanford Juniors from little old London…

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited to be sending you the first of my weekly emails. Mr Persaud tells me that you’re going to be working hard to send me some excellent pieces of writing and insightful questions! In return, I’ll do my best to come up with some fun activities to help you with your own writing, and on the way I’ll try not to mispeeell any wodrs.
 
By now, I’m sure you’ll have read some of my new book PERIJEE & ME. It was only published last Thursday, so you lucky lot have had a head-start on the rest of the country! 
 
In order to help the reader visualise Perijee, I used two SIMILES to describe him – can you find them? Why do you think I compared Perijee to these things – what do you think is the point of using similes? 
 
REMEMBER: if your alien is scary, then you should compare it to things that are scary!
 
GOOD EXAMPLE: The alien’s eyes were as red as erupting volcanoes.
BAD EXAMPLE: The alien’s eyes were as red as nice juicy tomatoes.

 

Marcia Williams has shouted a gigantic ‘GREETINGS’! to Carden Primary and have a few questions for Marcia to answer on her return from Dubai (sneak peak below)…

Georgie

Who is your favourite female author and why?

Scarlett

If you could go back in time and meet 5 famous historical characters who would you pick and why?

Maddie

When you go to libraries or book shops are you ever tempted to move your books so everyone can

see them?

Hoorain

Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Emma

Did you like history at school? If not, what inspired you to write/illustrate historical books?

Seleyna

Who is your favourite woman through history and why?

Nahima

What encouraged you to become an author/illustrator and why?

Amy

Who is your least favourite historical character and why?

Eva

If you were stranded on a desert island and only had two historical people for company who would

you choose and why?

 

Summer J

Do you still keep a diary? If so, what do you write about?

Brighton Festival Launch 2016

On Wednesday 17th February, the AAA team attended the launch of Brighton Festival, curated by Laurie Anderson. We got a sneak peek at the beautifully designed brochure and our project is listed in the ’26 Letters’ section. So pleased to see that all our schools and authors have been mentioned too.

BF launch

A big, warm welcome…

Authors announced

From left to right: Sarah Lean, Ross Montgomery, Marcia Williams and Gary Northfield

2016 welcomes Sarah Lean, Ross Montgomery, Gary Northfield and returning for a second year, Marcia Williams to this year’s Adopt an Author.

The project is being brought to you by Collected Works CIC and is an exciting schools initiative which links classes with children’s authors to promote literacy, encourage writing and develop creativity.

Over a course of 8 weeks, classes and their adopted authors correspond via very fun and entertaining emails and the project culminates in a ‘Meet your Author’ party during Brighton Festival (7-29 May).

We are very proud to be producing it once again and to have such an exciting group of authors on board. Stay tuned for our future updates!

 

The ‘AAA’ team x