Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils... The Legend of Podkin One-Ear

Posted by on

Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils

Cheltenham Festivals have been working with University of Worcester’s Primary PGCE course this year to get teachers reading.

Students are finding inspiration for their future teaching through ‘Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils’.

This student found that reading ‘The Legend of Podkin One-Ear’ by Kieran Larwood made them challenge their assumptions about fantasy fiction, and gave them ideas about how fiction can offer a ‘way in’ to issues that children may be experiencing in their lives.

When I first discovered that Podkin One-Ear was our new book, I was filled with dread. I wouldn’t normally choose to read a fantasy book, and I’m not a huge fan of animals as characters. However, my first impressions of this book didn’t last long – I instantly got hooked and read the whole book in one sitting!

The ‘story within a story’ structure of Kieran Larwood’s novel is effective and provides opportunities for talking about different tenses.

There are many themes throughout the story, including loss of parents. This could be a sensitive topic, depending on the children within your class, but could be a way to approach the topic. Another main theme is good and evil in the world. This could be a fantastic cross-curricular theme which you could link with morals/current affairs within PSHE/RE.

Further ideas for potential cross-curricular activities/discussions:

  • Paz as a strong female character offers opportunities to discuss gender issues, attitudes and expectations.
  • There are links inks with current affairs – for example refugees; Syria. (RE/PSHE).
  • Conscience Alley to explore the feelings and opinions of Paz, Podkin, the Gorm, Crom
  • Opportunities for art and creative work. Children could draw or map the different warrens, Boneroot, Brigid’s house.
  • Linking events in book to real life – Bramblemas – Christmas.
  • Diversity and disability awareness – Crom’s blindness and Podkin’s Ear – exploring abilities and challenges.

I am excited to use this story within my future teaching and try out some of the above! I think this would make a great class book, as each chapter is a mini story.

Can’t wait for the next book ….

As a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity we depend on donations to bring the arts and sciences live to audiences, support emerging talent, and deliver inspirational educational programmes.

To find out more about our year-round Education & Outreach work, click here