Category Archives: Stanford Juniors

The Long Horned Snig Beetle, Rheracross Beetle and all the brilliant beetles!

The Stanford Beetle Brigade’s brilliant adopted author M. G Leonard got in touch with the team this week and shared a photograph of herself with her pets, and yep of course her awesome pets are beetles!

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The brigade had lots of brilliant beetle questions  for M.G Leonard and a few of their own Battle of the Beetle theories….!

Dear Maya,

We hope you are doing well? We’ve been enjoying the story very much so far. We just got to the bit where Lucrecia cutter visited the cousins. We have a suspicion that Baxter is Darkus’ dad. We think this because beetles don’t usually like the rain and his dad took an umbrella with him even on non-rainy days. We also have another two theories, one being that Lucrecia cutter turned Darkus’ dad into a beetle. The other theory is that Bartholemew created a mixture\potion that turns you into a beetle.

Jay would like to know what your favourite beetle is between a rhinoceros beetle and a long horn beetle.

Clara wants to know where you got the idea to use a rhinoceros beetle.

Spike wants to know what the best part of the book is in your opinion.

Yours sincerely, Spike Bird and the Stanford beetle brigade.

 

 

 

They also shared some amazing pictures of their very own beetle creations! I wonder if we could keep any as pets…?

M. G. Leonard had some fantastic feedback and answers to class questions, but will she reveal any clues to the their story suspicions?!

Dear Spike Bird and the Stanford Beetle Brigade,

I’m so glad you are enjoying the story. You may like to know that the characters of Humphrey and Pickering were inspired by one of my favourite books of all time, The Twits by Roald Dahl. I think they are very funny and I hope you do too.

 I’m afraid I can’t help you with your suspicions and theories because I don’t want to accidentally give away the ending, but I delight in hearing what you think may be going on.

  • My favourite beetle is the Australian Rainbow Stag, because I keep them as pets. And you always love your pet better than any other type of creatures, but between a rhinoceros beetle and a long horn, I would always chose a rhinoceros beetle. They are awesome.
  • I chose a rhinoceros beetle because they are the strongest creature on the planet, but even though the look deadly, they can’t really hurt you and they are vegetarians who love bananas and hide during the day. I loved the idea that something that looked scary was actually friendly, which is one of the themes of my books.
  • The best part of the book is a battle that happens at the end, and I don’t want to spoil it by giving anything away, but needless to say, it’s beetles versus bad guys. It was great fun to write.

Thank-you so much for the pictures of beetles you have created. They are awesome. I loved the name of the Long Horned Snig Beetle, and Karmen, Flowerroseno is ADORABLE! The Rheracross beetle reminded me of a crazy pokemon, and Ramer the glow wing beetle is so cool he should have a book all to himself. I couldn’t see the name of the brightly coloured beetle but it was fantastic. I’m really impressed by all your hard work.

Until next time Standford Beetle Brigade!

Team AAA
x

 

 

 

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The Stanford Beetle Brigade BEGINS!

The Stanford Beetle Brigade are ready and reporting for their duties! And it didn’t take long for their adoptee officer M.G. Leonard to set this eager lot some brilliant Beetle Boy tasks!

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You’ve got to really know your beetles, so M. G. Leonard asked everyone to create a fun filled beetle fact file!

Dear Maya
We were really over-joyed when we received our first e-mail. We have been busy creating our beetle fact files….

Stanford Beetle Brigade = experts in beetles! Have a look at some of their lovely work!

 

 

With their heads full of beetle facts they turned their attention to M. G. Leonard’s own beetle passion with some questions for her….

What made you interested in beetles?

Does your whole family like beetles?

Do you have any pet beetles?

How long have you been interested by beetles?

What is your favourite book that you have written?

What is your favourite beetle?

Are you thinking of writing any more books?

We hope you like the work we have sent you so far and we are looking forward to seeing what’s next.

We are enjoying the book so far!

Thank you for letting us adopt you!

Best beetle wishes

Stanford beetle brigade!

Stay tuned for M. G Leonard’s answer’s and more superb work from Stanford Juniors!

Team AAA
x

INTRODUCING 2018’S ADOPTED AUTHORS!

We are currently experiencing same level excitement as Charlie Bucket, you know when he peels away the foil from his golden ticket chocolate bar??!! Yes, yes, we are THAT EXCITED….. because we can now reveal the Brighton & Hove primary classes who have successfully ADOPTED THEIR 2018 AUTHOR’S…..

*coughs* DRUM ROLL PLEEEEEEASE:

HELLO AUTHORS!

HELLO SCHOOLS!

We are absolutely thrilled that Rob Lloyd Jones will be returning to the project to take Year 6 from Mile Oak on a fantastic adventure with his wonderful book Wild Boy.

Next up we welcome Imogen White to the project who will be introducing Carden Primary to Rose Muddle in The Amber Pendent – an exciting magical mystery full of captivating twists and turns…..

Alex Milway brings to Benfield Primary the adventures of Pigsticks, the world’s most optimistic pig, and his sidekick Harold, an over-anxious hamster in his joyous and hilarious story Pigsticks and Harrold.

And finally, M. G. Leonard will be sharing insights into her beautiful and brave Beetle Boy to Year 5 & 6 Stanford Juniors. We can’t wait!

Running for 15 years by Collected Works as a Brighton Festival project, Adopt an Author is a very special programme promoting literacy and encouraging creative writing and illustrating. Over 10 weeks children will be corresponding with their paired writers, sharing thoughts on the book and making intriguing discoveries about the creative process. Pupils will be posing questions to the authors such as – ‘what encouraged you to be a writer?’ and ‘if you were stranded on a desert island and only had two historical people for company who would you choose and why?’ – I bet that one’s got you thinking!

Please check back for updates on what is going to be a very exciting Adopt An Author 2018!

 

 

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

That quote is by American writer Toni Morrison – great words!

This is a fitting quote for Stanford Juniors’ next task set by their adopted author, Ross Montgomery …

By now you’ve invented an alien, and used similes and evocative language to describe different parts of it. 
 
Read either pp. 29-32 (Perijee turning into a person) or pp. 68-70 (Perijee appearing in front of Caitlin’s parents) – depending on how far you’ve got in the book! In these short extracts, we see Perijee changing and the effect it has on people. Try and spot some examples of similes and descriptive language I’ve used.
 
YOUR next step is to pretend you’ve written a whole book about your alien. You’re going to write the scene where your alien first appears!
 
RULES
 
1. You don’t need to write a whole story – just one short scene. A few paragraphs should be enough. You don’t need to come up with a whole backstory, or an explanation where this alien has come from.
 
2. In the scene, your narrator is going to discover your alien. You can write it in first person – e.g. “I gasped in shock” – or third person if you prefer – e.g “Daisy gasped in shock”. The choice is yours!
 
3. Start by imagining a good place for your alien to be discovered – it should depend on how you want the scene to “feel”. If you want the scene to be scary, a good place would be a barren forest in the middle of the night – perhaps your narrator is trying to find his/her way home through the fog with a flashlight when they stumble across the alien. If you want the scene to be awe-inspiring, maybe the narrator could go exploring an old abandoned cave and find it there. 
The options are endless: it could be in a foul stinking sewer, the narrator’s bedroom, a dusty old shed at the bottom of a garden… think about what works for your alien, and what you would enjoy writing!
 
4. First of all, take a sentence or two to describe the setting. This is a good way to build up a sense of how the reader should feel when they’re reading – scared, amazed, confused…
EXAMPLE 1: I crept through the dark, dismal corridor, my heart pounding with terror in my chest.
EXAMPLE 2: Jeremy walked mesmerised through the sunlit trees, towards the glade where the haunting music was playing…
 
5. When your narrator sees the alien, take a few sentences to describe the alien. This bit should be easy – you’ve already done the hard work! Look at the sentences you came up for your alien and choose the ones you think are most effective. You don’t need all of them – three or four should be enough. 
Make sure you choose a good mix so we get a “picture” in our head – it would be a pity if all three descriptions were about your alien’s feet, for example!
Feel free to alter or improve your descriptions if you think they could be better – you may have come up with some new ideas over the last few weeks!
 
6. Last of all, make it clear how the narrator feels after seeing the alien. Are they terrified? Amazed? Disgusted? Delighted? Does the alien know it’s been seen – do they talk to each other? The choice is yours!
 
I look forward to seeing your ideas! Remember, these passages don’t need to be long – it’s better to write something short and punchy than something long and boring!
 
Have fun and speak soon,
 
Ross
x
Well as we know, Stanford Juniors are a very creative lot and have approached Ross’ idea from a different angle – before they begin writing their first scene, the class have created a storyboard to help them plan their first draft. How organised!

Ross seemed impressed by this initiative and responded:

Hello Year 6s,

I loved your work this week! I wasn’t expecting to see comic strip storyboards, but it really helped show off and structure your ideas (and drawing skills!) When I write, I usually have to plan out every chapter in detail before I get started – it can be really tough but is vital if you want to make sure your writing’s going to be the best it can be. I particularly liked Suzi-Anne’s terrifying alien getting annoyed at being called ugly, and Ruby’s duplicating aliens being shoved in the wardrobe!
Speak soon,
Ross

Similies are like a neverending glistening canyon of words and letters…

In their last task, Stanford Juniors created and described their own alien using similes. You can see them here.

Well Ross was mega impressed with the creativity of his class that he’s just cranked the task up a notch…

Have a look at the similies you came up with for the last challenge.

Today I’d like you to improve them by adding verbs for example:

His eyes were as dark as coal.

You could say ‘His eyes glimmered like coal’

OR

‘His eyes nestled in his head like lumps of coal’

OR

‘His eyes were crushed tight like a handful of coal’

Well those clever people at Stanford Juniors proved themselves to be not just great artists, but brilliant writers too! Take a look at their new similes below…

Let us know which is your favourite one, ours is “His eyes shimmered like a gold coin searching through the darkness of a pocket”…WOW! Well done everyone!

Similies and smiles!

6P at Stanford Juniors have quite the imagination, like if you put all the world’s geniuses and artists in a room, they’d come up with crazy ideas like this lot have (you’ll see). Last week, their author Ross Montgomery asked them to think of similies (a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind- its often used to make a description more exciting and believable) So 6P imagined some crazy looking aliens and used similies to help describe them to us boring unimaginative folk…

Hi Ross,

We have really enjoyed the start of your book and are excited to read on. Perijee sounds like an exciting character and Caitlin has a funny personality! Although, we did wonder where the idea about writing  about an alien came from? All of your similes are fantastic and we especially liked this one: his shell was as soft and warm, like candle wax.

Looking forward to your next email.

Annabel, Ruby, Ava and Lilou.

Class 6P