Diary Dates: January 2021

12 January 2021

The start of the year always brings new hope and ideas. It can be difficult to feel hopeful when times are hard but we have been inspired by the amazing job being done by so many educators and parents who are supporting children across the UK, as schools have been closed and homeschooling begins.

With some exciting events coming up this month, plus new books for spring and new activities to inspire, January offers lots of opportunities to bring creativity to life in lessons and at home and stay hopeful!

Check out what books will be creating a buzz in the next few months, with our spring book listWimpy Kid fans will love our brilliant new resource pack, which uses the ever-popular series to support literacy and learning with exciting lesson plans and activities for all.

Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo's book The Puffin Keeper, illustrated by Benji Davies is the story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, a small boy and a lonely artist. It’s the story of an entire lifetime, and how one event can change a life forever. We're delighted to share a brand new resource pack based on this beautiful tale, exploring a range of themes and supporting subjects including PSHE, Art and Design as well as creative writing and literacy.

It's Winnie the Pooh Day on January 18th, the birthday of author A.A Milne This classic story has delighted generations of children around the world and is an ideal time to introduce classic tales to children. Try our KS1: Classic Picture Books list which features Puffin favourites such as Shirley Hughes Dogger, Where's Spot? by Eric Hill and Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit. After reading the stories, you could try fun activities to help bring them to life with Spot's Presents Colouring Sheet or help develop fine motor skills with Peter Rabbit's Maze.

On 25th January poets across the country, and especially in Scotland, will be celebrating the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns on the aptly named, Burns Night!  It's a great opportunity to celebrate all things poetry and encourage budding young poets to share their ideas. Our collection of Puffin Poetry titles is a good place to start! You can also Write an alphabet poem with Rashmi Sirdeshpande or learn How to perform poetry with Michael Rosen.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27th January and is an important day of remembrance for people all over the world.  The theme this year is 'Be the Light in the Darkness' and events will take place across the country remembering all those who died during the Holocaust in World War II. You can find out more on the dedicated website here. Stories set during historical times can often be a good way to introduce topics to children and our World War II book list offers contextual reading which can support their understanding of events. Extraordinary Biographies is a series exploring the lives of historically significant figures including Anne Frank, whose bravery has inspired so many.

The end of the month sees the beginning of National Storytelling Week, which starts on 30th January. We all have stories to tell and this is the perfect time to share them! There's lots of exciting events which you can find out about on the website plus we have TONS of brilliant story starters, how to guides, storytime videos and more on our resources page. Inspire your young storytellers with ideas from Jacqueline Wilson, Tom Fletcher, Quentin Blake and Malorie Blackman, to name a few. Not forgetting of course, The Puffin Storymakers Show - all previous episodes available here!

If your school is doing something inspiring to celebrate stories this month that you'd like to tell the world about, please contact [email protected] with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.




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