Monday, December 3, 2012

A very big thank you

I would like to thank everyone who has sent flowers and cards and messages of condolences at this time, it was wonderful to think so many people cared in such a way, and I do thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I am glad to say I am on the road to recovery and the lessons continue; it will be good to have the sound of children around me again and the chance to pass on ideas, methods and skills which will stand them in good stead as they move up the learning ladder to their own success.

So what do we expect from a 10 year old?

A very good programme was made about this a while back and many of these 10 year olds made an even larger number of adults appear stupid, or at least limited in their knowledge. At ten, a child is like a very large aircraft hanger, the doors are open and awaiting the delivery of facts and ideas and skills so they can pack them in. Once understood these skills blend into one another seamlessly, and we look upon them with awe and wonder, "How did they DO that?" The only thing they lack is life skills which they acquire over the next 20 years and hey presto we have an engineer, or a teacher, or a lawyer or an office worker. Remarkable things can be produced by these fertile minds and I want to share with you one which came my way the other week.

Written by a 10 year old this piece of work reflects all the thought and reflection one would expect of a 16 year old. The only skill it lacks is that of 'association' which, in places, is already starting to show through. Empathy is a hard skill to teach, in fact it is something children grow into understanding and can start to develop during their early teen years. By the time girls are about 12 years of age they have started to write as if they are there, involved in the story, giving it that edge which holds the readers attention and takes them into the plot. Boys can develop it at any stage but they tend to start showing it in their writing when they are older. Here anyway, is a piece of work written by a 10 year old. Permission to publish it here was granted.

Who in the World?

Here is the start of a story, complete it in a similar style. Use some of the verbal reasoning words from the list in your story.

Dara sat at the top of the hill top and waited, he knew the dragon would be back and he was going to learn to ride it, but first he had to catch it and that was the problem, he didn’t like heights and the prospect of leaning out and possibly looking down terrified him.
He had borrowed a saddle and bridle from his uncle and now it was time to catch one for himself. He could ride, he had learned at school, and the school ones were so good, but he had been dared another boy and he would never hear the end of it if he didn’t…….

Suddenly out of no-where a sleek, scaly body flashed in front of Dara, then vanished into thin air. When the dragon swooped past him again he was more prepared. Dara was trying to remember what his uncle and teachers had frequently told him about how to teach a dragon to fly. His uncle had told him that you should  throw the saddle on the dragon’s back, slip a veil over his eyes, then jump! What happens if he missed Dara thought to himself, he had a peculiar feeling in his tummy and he did not want to look down. As he was thinking he didn’t notice the cunning dragon, stoop down behind a rock and watch him.  The dragon flung himself into the air; but Dara was ready, with a yelp he launched himself onto the dragon, throwing the veil over its eyes and tossing the saddle onto the dragon’s back. Dara closed his eyes and prayed.  THUMP! He had made it…... The dragon was distinct from his brothers, as he was really strong and his brothers were feeble. The dragon’s face was earnest because he was concentrating on what was ahead of him, and he was doing what his new master was telling him to do. Diving through the white clouds, Dara could see the quaint village where he lived.
Dara grieved everyday because his mum and dad had fallen off their dragon and it had been fatal. They had been humble and well loved the best parents you could ever have. That’s why he lived with his uncle. He hoped what had happened to his parents wasn’t an omen for his flying career! He privately lamented his parent’s death every day, even though he loved living with his uncle.  As Dara was reading the ‘dragon scripture’ on how to train his dragon, he told his uncle all about his amazing day.
When Dara got to school there was a dispute in the playground between Fin and Conor. Conor was Dara’s best friend. Conor had sparkling blue eyes, blonde hair, a dragon, and 2 sisters and was the best friend you could ever have. In class Mr Newton told Conor off for not handing his homework in but Conor replied in a stern voice “I have brought my homework in, Sir”.   Dara looked around and saw Fin and Aiden smiling. Aiden had dark brown hair, cloudy eyes, 2 dragons, 3 sisters and 1 brother and was Connor’s worst enemy. Fin had short light strawberry hair, dark green eyes, 3 dragons, 4 sisters and 2 brothers and was Dara’s worst enemy. Dara told the sturdy Mr Newton that Fin and Aiden had put the homework in the bin.
         After assembly Dara told Conor that he had a new dragon, and it was bright scarlet like a flaming fire. After break, Mr Newton who was a very influential teacher had the whole class listening to every word he was saying. The whole class learnt how the dragon breaths blazing fire and how it speaks. After that Mr Newton told the class that they will have a dragon contest tomorrow so they will have to bring their dragons with them. If they didn’t have a dragon they would be forbidden from this mind-blowing contest. Fin was provoking Dara, he boasted that he was going to win the challenge, this caused a huge row. Mr Newton had to split them up. Dara glanced around and saw Fin fixing his eyes on him with a wicked look on his face. Dara thought Fin looked absurd.
          After yesterday, Dara resolved to win the amazing contest. Dara and Conor met in the classroom both united to discuss their tactics to make Fin and Aiden lose. Dara felt bad about it, but Conor told Dara that they were going to do something to pay them back for all the spiteful things they had done to them.
         At the start of the race Fin was rapidly speeding ahead on his inky dark blue dragon, but Conor told his tango coloured dragon “blow some shots of fire out,” so the dragon did what his master had told him, burning strips of fire shot out of the tango coloured dragons mouth and it slowed Fin’s inky dragon down. Conor and Dara steamed in front like a train on electric tracks. Dara could see his ambition for winning the race was coming to life and this is what he had been waiting for, for years! Dara had successfully fulfilled his dream and ambition which was to win the contest and the prize... A jade dragon which had gleaming yellow eyes which sparkled in the daylight.

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