Make reading a pleasure for teachers and children alike

Cornerstones Love to Read features more than 45 teaching guides that help children fall in love with fiction.

They help you teach classic and contemporary children’s literature, whatever your literary experience or knowledge. The series is made up of novels that represent a balance of styles, periods and authors to help children experience a range of literature over time. Each guide is also packed with ideas for classroom activities that encourage children to talk about their reading.

This week, we’re looking at two more titles featured in our Love to Read series – The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence and Poems to Perform, edited by Julia Donaldson.

The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence

6. The thieves of ostia

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears whilst I tell you about a great text to go with our Year 4 ILP, I am Warrior

Meet Flavia Gemina, a clever young detective who lives in Ostia, a Roman coastal town. She’s a natural leader with a keen sense of justice. Flavia and her three friends – all from different social backgrounds – solve mysteries but as we follow them around the streets, they also show us what everyday life was like for citizens of ancient Rome in terms of housing, food, dress and customs.

It’s a page-turning, crime-cracking adventure – with plenty of cliff-hangers! Children who enjoy this first novel will probably be inspired to read the sequels, all with historical settings.

The Love to Read guide gives you a teacher’s section with a story outline, information about the author, characters, setting, and literary features to look out for.

The section for children provides pre-reading activities to set the scene, suggestions for good places to stop and discuss, questions to ask and ideas for reflecting on the whole book.

Poems to Perform edited by Julia Donaldson

7. Poems to perform

Shout, whisper, chant, mime, act… perform a poem! Here’s an idea for a whole class text to dip into alongside Year 4 ILP, Playlist.

Poems to Perform is an anthology of classic poetry edited by Julia Donaldson, each one chosen specifically because it lends itself to performance. We think this makes a perfect opportunity for enjoying some great poems out loud with the children.

Focusing on rhythm, rhyme and lyrics is a great way into the world of music and children love the challenge of performing to an audience. Our Love to Read guide singles out five poems for more detailed treatment representing a cross-section of poets and time periods, from Robert Louis Stevenson’s From a Railway Carriage to Football Mad by Benjamin Zephaniah.

The teacher’s guide provides suggestions for pre-reading activities, ideas for things to talk about and activities to do after reading. With a bio-pic of each poet and an introductory section on rhythm and rhyme, you’ll find lots of ideas for lively discussion and pitch-perfect performance.

Love to Read

The Love to Read guides are flexible and can be used in a variety of ways. You can choose to read the novel together as a whole class, as part of guided reading or in independent reading time. No matter what sparks your children’s interest, there is something for everyone.

For a closer look at Love to Read, download a free copy of our guide for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which links perfectly with our Year 3 ILP, Scrumdiddlyumptious!

You can also view a complete list of all Love to Read guides and which ILPs each one links to.

For more information contact our Customer Service team on 03333 20 8000.

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Kathryn Farr - Marketing Assistant

Kathryn is the Marketing Assistant here at Cornerstones, where her role involves updating the blog on the Cornerstones website and looking after Cornerstones' various social media channels.

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