Using a Parrot Street Book Club pack: a teacher’s tips

Child with open book drawing a story mountain

We’re very excited to feature our first guest post on this blog, written by Sarah Waddington from Teatime-English. Sarah is a former primary school teacher who now tutors English to children around the world via her engaging, interactive Skype classes. She also works as a homeschool tutor in London. We found it fascinating to see how our packs could work in a learning environment and love the activities she devised.

I discovered Parrot Street Book Club through their attractive Instagram page. I’m a homeschool tutor and I thought the books and activities would be perfect for my Year 6 students. I was particularly interested in the activities that were sent in the pack and how they brought the book-reading experience to life.

Even though so many fabulous learning resources are online these days, most of us still love a good old parcel in the post. For children, it’s great to unwrap a parcel, find associated activities inside and feel that they are part of a book club community. My homeschool students, who are perhaps less connected than mainstream school students, loved the fact that there was a community and a place for them to send their answers and book reviews. They loved seeing their work featured on Parrot Street’s social media accounts too.

The book and pack we received were a great starting point for so many activities. These were our favourites:

1. Researching more facts

We liked the fact that Parrot Street suggested useful YouTube videos to accompany the book. Our book was about a stoat and the video link was fascinating and inspired us to research stoats further and make a stoat fact-file. Our book was set in New York City and we enjoyed the accompanying video, notes and activities about that too.

Child's meerkat fact file

2. Getting descriptive

We particularly liked the character descriptions and setting descriptions in our book, so we looked closely at these and they helped us write our own.

3. Widening vocabulary

We loved the author’s use of alternative words for ‘said’ and we collected these as we read.

4. The story mountain

We then mapped out the plot of the book on a story mountain. We discussed the introduction, build up, problem, solution and ending. All of this helped us write our own similar short story about a meerkat.

Child's story mountain

Thank you, Parrot Street, for the inspiration and the hours of work that arose from this excellent book and package!

Sarah's signature and photo

This guest blog post has been written by Sarah from Sarah provides a free guide to help parents practise English at home with their children in fun ways, which is available here. Sarah shares her creative teaching ideas on social media. Find her on Instagram and Facebook or drop her an email.


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