Explore learning opportunities among the sparse, lyrical prose, stunning landscapes and naturalistic vignettes courtesy of David Almond and Levi Pinfold…
He woke her early. ‘Bring your fiddle,’ he said. The day was dawning. Into the valley they walked…
The Dam tells the story of a pilgrimage: a journey to the heart of an abandoned community in a remote Northumbrian valley where a dam is being constructed.
“This will be gone, and this will be washed away… and these can never live here again…” a father says to his daughter, as they make their way to a deserted village.
“Play for all that are gone and for all that are still to come…”
Pulling boards off doors and windows, they play in every house. Their music dances around the rooms and across the roofs, away into a landscape poised for change. Time passes and the waters rise, and many things are drowned and lost.
But other things are born and made – a beautiful lake and more besides.
The Dam is a book about one particular place and time, but loss and change are everywhere. What has gone lives on inside our memories, and if we let it, hope will always lead the way.
The story at the heart of this book is true. A dam was built to create the Kielder Water reservoir. A village was flooded to make way for it, and early one morning a father and daughter really did play and sing in every house.
That girl was Kathryn Tickell. She grew up to become one of the UK’s most respected folk musicians, and nearly 40 years after it happened, she and her father shared their story with writer David Almond.
The Dam won the 2019 Teach Primary KS1 Book Award and has been nominated for others, including the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
This resource includes
Complete book topic packed full of activities, including:
Debating, roleplaying and persuasive writing around the pros and cons of building the dam
Looking into music in the book and learning how music can reflect a time and place, and writing about how music can make you feel
Changes are a key theme in the book. Write about something that caused a change in your own life
Studying the artwork in the book to see how the way something is drawn can say something about it, and draw your own observational image of a plant or object in nature
Examine the sparse text in the book and try to re-create it by writing as much as you can in as few words as possible
And much more
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