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Brightstorm – KS2 cross-curricular activity ideas

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Years 5-6

Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy is an ideal book to read with a Year 5/6 class. The action starts almost immediately and doesn’t let up.

The main reason for reading Brightstorm is simply the fact that it’s a wonderfully engaging book. However, you can also use it as inspiration for some exciting curriculum opportunities. It can also act as a springboard into a topic on explorers and exploration.

What is Brightstorm about?

Brightstorm is an energetic and high-paced adventure story featuring a pair of 12-year-old twins, Arthur and Maudie. Their life takes a dreadful turn when they learn that their father, Ernest Brightstorm, has been reported dead on his expedition to reach South Polaris on the Third Continent.

Why is it good to teach?

Pupils quickly begin to side with the Brightstorm twins. They are often outraged by the injustice of the situation they find themselves in.

The chapters are short and punchy. As the story moves forward, it reveals more about the Brightstorm world and characters.

The cast of characters is relatively small, but this works in the book’s favour, as the personality and motivation of each of them receives enough time in the spotlight. 

Jon Biddle is an experienced primary school teacher and English lead. Winner of the 2018 Reading for Pleasure Experienced Teacher of the Year award, he coordinates the national Patron of Reading initiative. 

Pages from a Brightstorm book topic
Brightstorm – KS2 cross-curricular activity ideas
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