SAMPLE - 1 or 2 HOUR SCHOOL WORKSHOP - for the 5 to 8 age range [P3+]BILLYTN
(I am happy to chat through ideas for P1/P2 )

Activities are based on my Picture Storybook - BEANPOLE BILLY
Duration: (AtoE)Usually an hour per group/class. Parents welcome.
Duration: (AtoG+Follow Ups) Usually 2 hours per group/class
Themes: ALL ABOUT US! (incorporating WHO AM I?)

In the book Billy is mistaken for a teacher. Noone knows anything about him on his first day at school except he is tall. The theme will let us discover more about him and ourselves!

Activities: I will introduce myself and my background as a published author and playwright.
A) We'll play a guessing game - FACT or FICTION?

B) A quick question quiz activity - WHO AM I? - (Can you guess who it is in just three questions?)

C) Now I read Beanpole Billy with lots of silly voices and probably much jumping about. (We play WHAT NEXT? where I stop the story at different points and we predict what might happen.

D) Afterwards we'll describe Beanpole Billy then compare him and Wally, looking at opposites (tall short, sensible/silly, etc). [Student Goal: I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways. LIT 0-01c]

This brings us to E) QUIRKY QUESTIONS - If you were a teacher for a day what would you do? TABLE ACTIVITY 1: Children draw themselves as a teacher - and complete this sentence 'I wish I was a teacher because ... ' (Any early finishers can have fun considering other jobs too.) [Student Goal: I can respond to the work of artists ... by discussing my thoughts and feelings. EXA 0-07a]

F) We'll have fun sharing our drawings (I'll also draw on a whiteboard) Then discuss why Wally, the real teacher, thought Billy made school cool. Next we'll list and I'll draw what we think makes school cool!

G) I will sum up our session and offer some Follow Up work ...

-FOLLOW UP 1: the children explore that the helicopter became a giant fan. [Student Goal: I listen or watch ... interesting information and I use this to make choices or learn new things. LIT 0-04a]

-FOLLOW UP 2: why not invent a bubble popping machine to get rid of unwanted bubbles? [Student Goal: ... I use my curiosity and imagination to solve design problems. EXA 0-06a]

I would then respond to any of the FOLLOW UP work in writing, with some quirky illustrations.

Outcomes: Old habits die hard so I have ensured that my ideas and suggestions link with the Curriculum for excellence. For variety, the above can be adapted - so older children will have fun hearing how I came up with the characters and story - and discover some of my 'secret' writing tips. During all sessions I'll try and stimulate children to want to write and read more. So ...please CLICK HERE to BOOK A VISIT let the silly Beanpole Billyness begin!


Writer & Illustrator Alan Dapré usually visits in Central Scotland, say an hour's travel from Glasgow.

He lives in North Ayrshire and is happy to make special arrangements.