Y4 LONDON BOROUGHS 2019/20

Welcome to the 2019-20 Reading Gladiators™ challenges. Let the reading begin!

Updates

  • The beginnings of our stories!

    Following from designing our own clockwork animals earlier in the week, the Year 4 Reading Gladiators have started writing their short novellas, inspired by ‘The Clockwork Crow’. They have planned their five chapter stories and started writing their first chapters.

    Here we have the beginnings of ‘The Clockwork Vulture’ and ‘The Clockwork Rabbit’. Also, there is an extract from my own story ‘The Clockwork Robin’, which has helped in giving the children some ideas about their own stories.

    It is a nice writing challenge for us all, and we are looking forward to sharing our finished novellas with the Knockhall community 🙂

  • Knockhall’s Clockwork Animals!

    This week, whilst staying at home, the Year 4 Reading Gladiators group from Knockhall have been working on designing their own clockwork animals. This is leading up to an exciting Easter project; we are going to be writing our own clockwork stories to share with our fellow peers within the Knockhall community.

    The children had been working hard on creating their own clockwork animals. One had designed a cat, another drew a vulture and one drew a rabbit named Chocolate! One of the children was inspired by the world of Pokémon and drew a clockwork version of the mystical Pokémon Mew.

    I’m looking forward to seeing these stories come to life, and also to take part in the challenge myself, writing my own tale of ‘The Clockwork Robin’ (my sketch can be seen in the picture as well). Through my own drawings and storytelling, I aim to inspire the Reading Gladiators, and at this stage, it’s wonderful to the children be so creative 🙂

  • Diagrams of the Clockwork Crow

    Through home learning and online teaching, the Year 4 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall have continued to read and explore ‘The Clockwork Crow’. Last week, the children were asked to draw diagrams of the character with labels using quotes from the text. I decided to join in the effort as well, drawing my own sketch as an example to show the children. This seemed to have helped as the drawings that were submitted to me were amazing! One of my colleagues had shared a couple of the drawings already and we had a nice comment from the author herself, Catherine Fisher, saying that she loved them! I am so proud of my group, and it is lovely to know that they have made other people smile with their wonderful art work 🙂

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 6th Apr 2020, 7:18pm
    These are incredible and you should be so proud of your artistic responses. You've certainly made me smile today!
  • The railway station was deserted

    During such an unusual time of uncertainty, my wonderful Year 4 Reading Gladiators from Knockhall have been working hard, reading their books at home and working on the challenges provided. This one was actually a personal challenge, inspired by the first line of the first chapter of ‘Clockwork Crow’. The children had been focusing on creating suspense and a sense of mystery, writing their own short stories. I have been amazed by their work so far. The stories that I have read are full of suspense. Here are some of the magnificent but edgy sentences:

    ‘He heard the noise again but this time a lot louder. This scared him so he slowly walked towards the gates. As he did so the noise carried on. Suddenly the gates closed. Mike didn’t know what to do he was really scared now.’

    ‘The wind gusted, like the sound of the scream. My heart was beating, harder and harder by the second. I finally saw a glimpse of a human, a boy. Maybe the boy.’

    My Reading Gladiators continue to amaze me and I am so proud of them all 🙂

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 27th Mar 2020, 2:30pm
    And we are proud of them too. Great work Knockhall. You have some talented writers there.
  • ‘Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds’ Book Reviews

    As we were coming up to the end of our adventure with Aubrey, some of the Year 4 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall have written their reviews about the book. Overall, the book was enjoyed and one of our favourite characters was Hurindo with his positive attitude and cheeky personality. In this review, one of the children have said how the ‘smallest can achieve anything’. A very good message indeed.

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 27th Mar 2020, 2:31pm
    Absolutely! This title is full of positive messages. We hope the children who have read it will look at others and their world with fresh eyes.
  • Ladybirdz Leaflet

    Recently, the Year 4 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall had been working on their leaflets about ladybirds. One of the children has made a leaflet about the Ladybirdz family who appear in the book. The leaflet provides a nice little introduction to the family and the drawings are magnificent. My group continues to impress and inspire me.

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 27th Mar 2020, 2:32pm
    A beautifully laid out leaflet here. Delighted to hear you are inspired by your group. Being a Reading Gladiators group leader is such a rewarding job isn't it.
  • All About Ladybirds

    Whilst reading ‘Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds’, the Year 4 Reading Gladiators researched about ladybirds themselves. Using the information that they had found, they created leaflets telling readers more about ladybirds. Some of the facts that I did not know myself. Did you know that the scientific name for ladybirds is coccinellidae, deriving from the Latin word ‘coccineus’ meaning ‘scarlet’? Another fun fact, there are 5,000 different types of ladybirds in the world! The children had also found fascinating pictures of ladybirds on the internet and even drew their own pictures based on our book. This group continues to be inspirational, and it is a pleasure to teach them through such an amazing programme 🙂

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 12th Mar 2020, 9:43am
    There is indeed a lot more to ladybirds than first meets the eye. Your leaflet looks very informative and so neat. We are delighted that you are enjoying Reading Gladiators so much.
  • Aubrey role on the wall

    All our RG love this activity and so do I! It really helps you get to know the character and analyse their behaviour. We are all primed to delve further into Aubrey’s character as we continue reading the book.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 5th Mar 2020, 12:57pm
    Great delving Northumberland Heath!! Keep updating your role on the wall as you read on and get to know more about Aubrey.
  • Submission by Knockhall Primary School

    Blackberry Heron Otter

    In response to the Mini Challenge, the children have been inspired to write their own poems using the titles of those used in 'Adder Bluebell Lobster' as the basis. With their poems beautifully handwritten, we have later compiled the poems to make our own anthology of poems called 'Blackberry Heron Otter'.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 24th Feb 2020, 12:33pm
    What a lovely collection of poems with a range of literary techniques. Well done!
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    Gail Beale 3rd Mar 2020, 9:03am
    Great job Knockhall! Your collection looks very professional.
  • Submission by St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Uxbridge

    These are words we shall remember.

    My Reading Gladiators wrote a shape poem using all the title words. They chose a fossil to symbolise these words being lost and then found again.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 24th Feb 2020, 11:07am
    What a clever idea to present your poem in the shape of a fossil. Let's hope that these words will not be fossilized thanks to all the brilliant poems now displayed in schools.
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    Mary Gahan 26th Feb 2020, 12:35pm
    Thank you for saying our idea was clever we really appreciate it. We put them in the shape of a fossil in the hope that they will be discovered and used once again.
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    Gail Beale 3rd Mar 2020, 9:03am
    This is so visually striking! Well done.
  • Submission by Northumberland Heath Primary School

    Saving the Nature Alphabet

    We had so much fun writing this poem and completing our artwork to go with it. We decided to do an acrostic poem, as this was our favourite sort of poetry that we came across in the book. We came up with the idea of doing an alphabet acrostic poem, because the poems in the book are listed in alphabetical order. We also wanted to get as much alliteration in as we could! You might notice a few 'play on words' that we used to make sure we could fit all the letters of the alphabet in. We really hope you like our poem and our artwork, as we really loved producing them and we have loved this book so much!

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 24th Feb 2020, 11:03am
    Otterly ottertaining! Very creative and clever word use. I'm sure you had as much fun writing it as we did reading it. Well done Gladiators.
  • Submission by St Matthias School

    Nonsense Acrostic

    The Reading Gladiators really enjoyed learning about different forms of poetry, and were so excited that they couldn't choose just one! So they decided to write a nonsense acrostic, that was also in rhyming couplets. They have loved finding out about all the different animals and plants and playing with language in the poems. They illustrated 'Nature Is The Best' with some funny pictures where animals and plants came to life!

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 24th Feb 2020, 10:39am
    Very entertaining! Well done. You set yourself quite a challenge attempting an acrostic in true 'gladiator' style.
  • Poetry Blast

    We have had a wonderful morning, spent sharing poetry with the rest of the school. We went to classes from Year 1 right up to Year 6! We got some great feedback from teachers and pupils. We also shared our message about the importance of keeping these words about the natural world alive and not letting them be replaced by modern words. We even gifted a copy of the poems we read to each class, so they can put it up in their windows to share with the parents. It has been a wonderful morning! We absolutely love Adder Bluebell Lobster and the message it spreads.

  • Poetry Visualisation

    We did a quick visualisation activity on ‘Bluebell’ and ‘Giant Puffball’. We had some lovely bluebell drawings, but I was particularly taken by the picture of an angry giant puffball shouting “I’m not bald!!”.

  • Submission by Cherry Lane Primary School

    What do you know about dolphins?!

    Discussion with RG.... what to you know about dolphins. Followed by how do dolphins move?
    What sounds do they make?

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 6th Dec 2019, 1:40pm
    Brilliant! We love the way your gladiators have fully immersed themselves in this activity. Well done.
  • Reading Gladiators rules

    One of our yr4 gladiators came up with these rules at home. She also drew some lovely pictures of us all reading ‘Song of the Dolphin Boy’.

    Comments

    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 28th Nov 2019, 12:45pm
    We are so happy that this Gladiator has been thinking about what makes a good group member, and took the time to note down these rules.
  • Talk Show

    Another wonderful acting activity from our y4 RG today. They really come alive during these sessions. Our radio talk show host was very dynamic and our callers were incredibly passionate about their answers. They definitely convinced me that the balloon release should have been cancelled.

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 21st Nov 2019, 9:32am
    Well done Northumberland Heath. Drama activities really help you get under a character's skin don't they.
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    Gail Beale 21st Nov 2019, 10:41am
    They really do and our kids absolutely adore being given the opportunity to act.
  • Charlie’s shock

    This pair of Year 4 RG captured Charlie’s shock over Fin standing up to him so well! Can you tell who’s who?! The only improvement point we gave was that Fin’s body language could have been more assertive.

    Comments

    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 14th Nov 2019, 9:52am
    Excellent work and well done for reflecting on how you could make this pose even better!
    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 15th Nov 2019, 4:58pm
    Great acting and directing from these gladiators! Well done
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    Gail Beale 20th Nov 2019, 3:17pm
    They really enjoyed doing the ‘Talk Show’ radio segment today as well. They love acting out the stories. Picture to follow...
  • Submission by Grove Primary School

    Grove Primary School’s Treasure of the Golden Skull map/display

    We made some of the features of the setting so that we could have a 3D display that will interest other children and entice them to read the book.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Nov 2019, 2:58pm
    What a wonderful display Grove Gladiators! Your questions are excellent for encouraging others to read this book. Just pipped to the post this time. We are looking forward to seeing your future entries.
  • Submission by Northumberland Heath Primary School

    Magnificently Mysterious Map of Maudlin

    The Year 4 RG group have worked so hard on their map of Maudlin. It was a real collaborative effort, with those who were not so confident at drawing creating exciting questions to entice all of their classmates to read the book. I am so proud of all of them and more importantly they are proud of themselves as well!

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Nov 2019, 2:55pm
    Brilliant work Gladiators and super to see you supporting each other in your collaboration. I'm sure your questions will draw others to this series too. Well done!
  • Submission by St Matthias School

    Treasure of the Golden Skull Challenge

    We loved reading this book and thought it was really funny. The children particularly liked the ending and were really enthused by the quirky characters, and they have done some excellent drawings to add to their map. We worked as a group to annotate the map with all our favourite elements, added some of the settings from the book and thought of lots of questions to persuade others to read the book. Reading Gladiators then presented the map to our Year 3/4 and 4/5 classes to try to persuade them to read the book!

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Nov 2019, 11:10am
    Clever use of Chris Priestley's illustration here and some great questions too. Well done!
  • Song of the Dolphin Boy

    Our Year 4 RG are really getting into the story and the empathy they are showing for Finn is heart-warming. They thought very deeply today about how he was felling during chapter 4 and then we had a great, balanced debate about whether the children should take the boat out to save the dolphins.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 6th Nov 2019, 1:55pm
    You have been thinking deeply about the dilemma and it's good to see you making connections to other stories. Great work Gladiators!
  • Bubble map of blood

    Our Year 4 RG came up with some really interesting connotations associated with the word blood!

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 11th Oct 2019, 11:41am
    These are intriguing! The watery eyes is interesting.
  • Making Connections

    I thought that this particular year 4 RG really thought carefully when completing her table, some of her answers are really insightful.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 11th Oct 2019, 11:42am
    Really interesting connections.
  • Another great readers’ theatre

    Our year 4 gladiators absolutely loved having another session of readers’ theatre today! We definitely have some budding actors in our midst!

    Comments

    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 10th Oct 2019, 3:06pm
    I'm so glad you are all enjoying this fantastic way of engaging with a text!
  • Imaginative Pirates

    our year 4 gladiators also managed to get their creative juices flowing and came up with some great new pirate characters to add to the story. We all really enjoyed guessing whether they would be good or evil pirates! We had a real mixture (which even included a vampire parrot pirate!!!)

    Comments

    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 10th Oct 2019, 3:06pm
    What a motley crew! I'd love to hear about their adventures! (Especially the vampire parrot!)
  • Readers’ Theatre

    Our year 4 gladiators loved readers’ theatre today! This was Sponge and Mildew’s reaction to Big Brian’s “terrible tolling”

    Comments

    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 4th Oct 2019, 11:39am
    Readers' Theatre is one of my absolute favourites and I can really sense the energy and enjoyment in this picture! Well done to you!
    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 4th Oct 2019, 12:10pm
    Brilliant! Lookout for more Readers' Theatre in week 3 when the boys meet Captain Greenbeard - a character to really get your teeth into!!
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    Gail Beale 7th Oct 2019, 11:54am
    They are already looking forward to their next Readers' Theatre opportunity! We have a few budding actors in the making.
  • Let the Challenge Begin!

    Welcome year 4 Gladiators. The 2019-20 challenge is about to begin. We can’t wait to hear what you think about your new books.

    Comments

    Avatar
    Hannah Leppard 19th Sep 2019, 12:46pm
    Excited about getting started next week!
    Rachel Elvidge
    Rachel Elvidge 24th Sep 2019, 8:12am
    Nothing beats opening those brand new books!