Having a Lovely Time Writing

March 9, 2010

There’s No Smoke Without Mr Airey

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 8:06 am

Had a wonderful time on the phone to Mr A last night and I am so excited about all the dragon related drawing and writing and drama happening in Mr A’s South London Primary School.

Today’s assembly sounds like it is going to be brilliant – Mr Airey has chosen My Pet Dragon by Michael Alexander to read and do a ‘poemwhoosh’ with the children. A ‘poemwhoosh’ means someone from the audience gets up and acts out what they think is happening in the poem until they hear whoosh then they sit down! Sounds fabulous.

Mr Airey says that the children have been so inspired by the project that there has been an increase in children writing independently and at home. The poetry has inspired the children and he has found that they have really expanded the number of adjectives and descriptive phrases they use.

It has been wonderful to hear that even the nursery children have been drawing dragons and have enjoyed listening to the There’s No Smoke Without Dragons poems. I think it just goes to show what a great collection of poems we have that they appeal to children of all ages and adults too!

I can’t wait to speak to Mr A tonight and find out how the poetry whooshing went!


March 6, 2010

By Popular Demand, I bring you Mr A’s Dragon poem!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 8:28 am

Mr Airey has had a lovely dragon themed time with his year one class and they were fascinated to see how Mr A went through the writing process. They loved seeing his scribbles and how he explored ideas through to his finished poem as a word document.

Well done Mr Airey now your poem is onto another stage and is now published on a website.


The Beast


Haunting spectacle,

Strikes like a tentacle

Colossal and immense

Villagers are tense


Covered by the mist

Arrow tail twist

Obscured by dark

Roaring sounds hark


Gripped by fear

Terrifyingly near

Swooping in from the east




Simon Airey


March 5, 2010

Fabulous Dragon Artwork

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 5:55 pm

Thanks to the talented artists in year 5 at Mr Airey’s South London Primary School – your dragon artwork is wonderful. Now I shall have to ask the poets which poem they think inspired them!

 The colours here are so vivid!

Wow this one is purple- just like My Pet Dragon!

Thanks – I’ve really enjoyed see them!

Newsflash – Mr Airey captured and put in a dragon’s cave!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 12:19 pm

News just in – child initiated play in year 1 today and poor teacher Mr Airey was captured by dragons and imprisoned in the Dragon Cave. Poor Mr A, I hope you are rescued soon!

Did the cave look like this inside Mr A?

A Dragon's Cave

Simon Airey is such an inspirational teacher and yet again I think we need to clone him and give each primary school in the UK their own fab Mr A! He makes learning exciting, fun and challenging – I think I’d love to be five again and be in Mr A’s class.

I’m also excited because Mr Airey has just told me about year 5’s amazing dragon artwork, it’s midday now and I will have to wait until the children go home before Mr A can send me some examples that I can share with you!

To all potential illustrators and artists, I am hoping to bring you an interview with an artist who illustrates children’s books – cross your fingers for me! It’ll be great to have some fab tips for you! Watch this space!

There’s No Smoke Without Dragons is proving to be such an exciting project and the wonderful thing is I haven’t left my sofa – isn’t the virtual world amazing?

March 4, 2010

Wow Mr Airey’s class are so talented!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 5:33 pm

Just off the phone to Mr Airey and have had a lovely 20 minutes chatting about the wonderful writing and art that has been happening in his classroom. I am so impressed with the fabulous writing that the year 1 class are producing and their art work is fantastic!

 Wow what amazing dragons!

They are brilliant.

More colourful dragons

I can’t wait to see year 5’s artwork tomorrow!

Thanks Mr Airey and all the children at this fabulously talented South London Primary school!

I am very excited by Mr Airey’s brilliant dragon poem and think he deserves a Writer of the Week award! Well done Mr Airey, it was great to hear how you showed the children the process you went through in writing your poem.

Oh yes I do have a pet dragon!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 2:20 pm

Imagine my surprise, when Mr Airey emails me to say that he doesn’t believe I have a pet dragon. Do I look like the type of person that would lie about my pets?   

Yes, I do have a pet dragon and I keep him in a jam jar where he is very comfortable. It means I can take him shopping with me without worrying about his fiery breath starting a fire in the queue at Sainsburys!   

My Pet Dragon


He’s a very, very friendly dragon who likes nothing better than playing basketball with his friends.   

Good to hear from you Mr Airey and hope the children in year 1 have enjoyed their pastel drawings today!   

Looking forward to seeing the lovely photos of your work. I got sent two dragon poems today and I think you’ll like this one by my friend Teri   

Why Dragons are Green   

There once was a dragon named Scot
Whose breath was really quite hot
The flame from his nose
Used to scorch his own toes
So he covered his hide with green snot

March 3, 2010

Mr Airey is Wonderful!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 8:47 am

Unfortunately, I couldn’t phone him for an update yesterday because my pet dragon had a headache and was breathing fire at my children – oh what a mad house!

But I managed to get a quick update on all the dragony goings on in his South London Primary School. Yesterday, Mr Airey took the assembly and used the title poem written by Celia Warren There’s No Smoke Without Dragons and had an interactive assembly with groups of children acting out the images Celia’s poem conjured up. The children loved the drama and really enjoyed the poem!

Mr Airey continued to keep the whole of Key Stage One enthralled when he read Dragon by Roger Stevens – this poem was enjoyed by the children and lots of the year 2 children said that it really made them think!

The children have drawn some pencil drawings but today Mr Airey is letting them loose with colourful pastels. Wow, I can’t wait to see the photographs!

Mr Airey is on a course today so he is as excited as me about what his class will create with the colourful pastels!

March 2, 2010

There’s No Smoke Without Dragons – update

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 11:53 am

A Primary school in London are illustrating some of the poems as part of their enjoyment of World Book Day –  so I’m really looking forward to getting their drawings through my letter box next week!

Simon Airey who is an inspirational teacher is keeping me posted with regular phone calls – yesterday it was a delight to find out that his Year 1 children already knew quite a bit about dragons and they set Mr Airey a challenge to find out if dragons could be golden. Thankfully, Mr A is very clever at using google so was able to find lots of pictures of golden dragons for the children.

Did you know Year 1 that I once discovered a dragon in my purse and can confirm that they do come in lots of different colours:

I found a dragon in my purse
Oh my goodness how it cursed.
Fiery ancient snorter
scales of glittering green, blue and gold
with eyes that swirl with fire
what are you doing in my purse?

Year 1 a question for you: Why do you think there was a dragon my purse?

Sue Hardy-Dawson and Philip Waddell both sent me shape poems this week which look really great and are very cleverly crafted.

Bernard Young sent me a brilliant dragon poem called Notice and he’s really looking forward to seeing the illustrations that the children in Mr Airey’s school create.

Exciting news, Bernard is actually going to Wales this weekend to write some dragon poems in the home of dragons! I hope he doesn’t bump into a real dragon!

Great news from Roger Stevens who says he’s writing another dragon poem for the anthology – I’m really excited about this and can’t wait!


February 23, 2010

There’s No Smoke.. teacher trial happening soon!

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 3:26 pm

Kat has selected the poems from the anthology that she wants to teach to her class and these are:

Lost: One Dragon – Celia Warren

My Pet Dragon – Michael Alexander

Ashley the Friendly Dragon – Philip Waddell

The Water Dragon – Celia Warren

The Multiplication Dragon – Celia Warren

Dragon Hakiu’s – Paul Roff

I know all the poets involved are excitedly waiting to see what Kat’s class think of their poems and more importanty what writing their poems inspire the children to create. We’re hoping for lots of exciting Drama, Artwork and Performances too.

Exciting Dragon Times Ahead!

February 21, 2010

There’s No Smoke Without Dragons – main feature for TLC magazine

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 3:29 pm

I have had a sneak preview of the title poem written by Celia Warren


It’s absolutely beautiful and I am looking forward to writing the teaching sequence for it when the kids are back to school.  Dragons are a great subject to get children writing as the poet Philip Waddell explains:

 1) Dragons crop up in lots of fairy stories, folklore and films so they are a mythical creature with which children are familiar.

2) Children, especially I think younger ones, love magic and children of any age like dinosaurs and there’s definitely a touch of the dinos about dragons.

3) Dragons, unlike some mythical creatures which are either good or bad can vary in their personalities like people. What might make a dragon good or bad?

However, my friend Bev Evans has other thoughts about Dragons:

Obviously in Wales we cover a lot of dragon related topics (so obviously we have a different perspective). Our national symbol is a dragon. Every teacher has to link to the Cwriculwm Cymreig and dragons are the most topic to get children (esp boys) involved, particularly at FP level. By the end of KS1 all Welsh classroom teachers will have covered The Legend of Dinas Emrys and a number of other dragon related stories/myths and legends.

Unfortunately this can mean that by KS2 boys are all ‘dragoned out’ and it is not as effective a topic to get them inspired.

What do you think?

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