The titles of Bob Cox's new books form open invitations to teachers and pupils, encouraging from the outset a celebration of the relationship between reading and writing. The premise is that reading poetry and prose of high quality will enthuse and support pupils in producing strong writing of their own.
The texts chosen as inspiration represent a fresh and sometimes surprising range of poetry and prose. The lively range of quality material will encourage teachers to work with texts which are not necessarily commonplace in classrooms, yet which are accessible and motivating for pupils.
The long list of schools thanked in the acknowledgements shows that Bob Cox has developed these strategies in classrooms, working directly alongside pupils and teachers. This results in suggested approaches which are accessible for children and which support meaningful, creative teaching and learning strategies.
Each chapter takes a key text as its inspiration and builds up pupils' writing skills through carefully scaffolded activities which are clearly described. There are helpful -˜Beyond the Limit' sections which offer extension activities and suggestions for other follow up texts.
These books will form welcome additions to the classroom. Bob Cox talks about giving pupils -˜wings to fly, not drills to kill' and it is this sense of the fantastic possibilities that inspiring reading and writing can offer up to children which permeates the books.
For teachers who already have a wide repertoire of texts they use to support writing, these new titles are still likely to offer some surprises. For teachers who would like some guidance in working with less commonplace high quality literary texts, there are many inviting routes to explore here. The ideas are easy to access and could be swiftly implemented in the classroom.