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Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary

Make a date in your diary for February for Michael Morpurgo Month 2020, and start planning with these book topics, worksheets, lesson ideas and more for KS1 and KS2...

  • Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary
  • Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary
  • Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary
  • Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary
  • Michael Morpurgo Month 2020 – 10 of the best teaching resources for primary

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Save the date! February next year it’s that time again to celebrate one of the nation’s best loved storytellers, with Michael Morpurgo Month 2020.

Michael is a passionate advocate of encouraging children to read for pleasure, and his stories often deal with emotionally challenging events, but always with a message of hope and compassion.

HarperCollins is helping schools to celebrate some of these great stories, and you can order supporting posters and bookmarks for your class, and find out loads more at michaelmorpurgo.com/morpurgomonth.

This year there are 16 books included, which are divided into four groups:

  • Tales of the sea
    Boy Giant, Listen to the Moon, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, Kensuke’s Kingdom
  • Animal adventures
    The Butterfly Lion, Born to Run, The Fox and the Ghost King, Mudpuddle Farm: Pigs Might Fly
  • Times of war
    Private Peaceful, Flamingo Boy, A Medal for Leroy, An Eagle in the Snow
  • Timeless tales
    Toto: The Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio by Pinocchio, Sparrow: The True Story of Joan of Arc, The Pied Piper of Hamelin

To help you plan your celebrations, we’ve picked out some great Morpurgo-themed resources for these books and others to use in school.

1 | Flamingo Boy Michael Morpurgo Month resources

All the activities in this HarperCollins resource can be used as either a quick starter or a longer lesson and provide a great opportunity to develop children’s comprehension and vocabulary.

It shares an extract from the story, describing the flamingos that live on the salt flats of the Camargue, and features suggested discussion activities considering the author’s craft and effective features of descriptive writing, specific vocabulary choices made by an author, and introducing unfamiliar vocabulary.

Get this resource here.

2 | More Michael Morpurgo Month 2019 resources

You can also get similar resources from last year’s Michael Morpurgo Month on the HarperCollins site, for book’s that are included in this year’s event.

Click the links to find them:

3 | Boy Giant KS2 book topic

When war comes to Omar’s Afghan village, 10-year-old Omar and his mother set off on a long and dangerous journey, heading for England and Uncle Said’s café.

But Omar’s mother can’t afford two boat tickets and Omar must travel on alone. When the worst happens at sea, Omar expects his life to end. Instead he is washed up somewhere marvellous and strange – the island of Lilliput, whose tiny inhabitants welcomed Gulliver so long ago.

Helped by his new friends, Omar becomes Son of Gulliver – a role that requires him to develop peacemaking abilities.

Download this book topic and a 12-page PDF packed full of lesson ideas and activities to explore alongside reading the book, here.

4 | The Butterfly Lion persuasive writing KS1 book topic

Here children can imagine what life would be like with a lion for a best friend. Activities in this book topic include writing a persuasive letter from the main character’s perspective in boarding school, a survival guide for lions and a plot outline for the novel.

Get this resource here.

5 | Morpurgo teaching ideas

Another one created for last year’s event that has some carry-over value is this piece from James Clements, who offers ideas for all of the books in the 2019 selection.

Check them out here.

6 | Private Peaceful writing resources

There are three different worksheets of writing exercises for the ever-popular Private Peaceful.

One asks students to write a different ending for the story, another features 13 pages of diary writing activities and the third features four sheets of reading comprehension and writing activities.

Click the links above to download them.

7 | Kensuke’s Kingdom KS2 book topic

Kensuke’s Kingdom won the Teachers’ Choice category in our Teach Primary Book Awards – a category designed to celebrate stories that are enjoyable to teach and inspire new activities year upon year – and is packed with exciting themes to inspire creative cross-curricular work.

This vocabulary list of 96 words related to the book can be downloaded here.

And download this book topic for it here.

8 | Writing worksheets for three books

This resource features three printable worksheets for three Morpurgo books: Sparrow: The True Story of Joan of Arc, Alone on a Wild Wild Sea and A Medal for Leroy.

Each worksheet features a variety of writing, comprehension and research activities for pupils to carry out, such as writing a timeline of Joan of Arc’s life, describing how you met your best friend and writing about any nicknames you or your friends have and how they came about.

Download them at the links above.

Other Morpurgo books

They may not be in the list of 16 for this year’s event, but you can still get some great learning out of these Morpurgo resources.

9 | This Morning I Met a Whale

In Judy Clark’s book topic she suggests using Morpurgo’s tale of a boy who spies a bottlenose whale in the Thames as the centrepiece of your next Key Stage 2 storybook curriculum.

There are loads of writing opportunities, from environmental information pamphlets, persuasive letters and news reports.

Get it here.

10 | Where My Wellies Take Me

Where My Wellies Take Me, by Michael and Clare Morpurgo, uses 40 evocative poems to celebrate the wonder of childhood, germinating a love of verse that will stay with pupils for many years to come.

Explore the spark of an idea in starting the writing process, map out your poetry project in your local area and create an inspiration scrapbook.

Get this book topic here.

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