There’s No Smoke Without Dragons is a classroom book that uses previously unpublished poetry  that has been compiled by Karen Garner  and illustrated by Sue Hardy-Dawson. T he collection ofdragon themed  poems are a real variety from humourous verse, haiku, shape poems, limericks and thought provoking verse that is accessible to a young child but also appealing to an older audience.      

The book features poems from:      

 Michael Alexander, Philip Ardagh, Catherine Benson, Gerard Benson,       

Liz Brownlee, Paul Cookson, Pie Corbett, Jan Dean, Graham Denton,      

Eric Finney, John Foster, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Donald Nelson,      

Robert Scotellaro, Roger Stevens, Nick Toczek, Angela Topping,    

Jill Townsend,   Philip Waddell, Celia Warren and Bernard Young.      

There is a section for teachers written by Karen Garner  with contributions from the poets  and teachers involved in the project as well as the wonderful work that the poetry inspired in classrooms across the UK.       

The teaching sequences have been written so the teacher can explore the craft of language and the children can learn the basics of writing as well as the enjoyment of language play. Through the reading of There’s No Smoke Without Dragons the risk taking in language choice is explored as well as the Poet’s Tool Kit – imagination, personification, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, powerful language, simile, metaphor, use of shape and illustration. The book also explores the teaching of poetry, storytelling, narrative writing  and explores how to create a poetry rich classroom culture.      

The Teachers’ Notes explain ways to share the poem, discussion ideas, writing opportunities, drama ideas, art and display ideas. They allow children to move from the poem model to shared poetry writing to independent writing. The teaching sequence moves from the reading, understanding and writing of poetry to narrative writing with several short stories written by several of the writers involved. As we are no doubt aware whatever is learned in poetry can be applied to the writing of a story.     

The teacher  book explores Poetry Talk, this provides teachers with the types of questions to ask about poetry and so develop a poetry rich classroom where there is a purposeful, inquisitive dialogue and a curiosity about poetry. There are also non-fiction writing opportunities as well as suggestions for cross-curricular links within the teaching sequences.     

There's No Smoke Without Dragons


 contact: nosmokewithoutdragons@hotmail.com

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