Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reading Festival: Ben and Alex use poetry to get inside the heads of characters

Ben T and Alex W go to Russley School and I think I can guess what kind of books they like to read. They have written poems from the point-of-view of a character in a favourite book. I like the way they made the characters come alive and they didn’t bother to tell the story. It was like they tried to get inside a moment and inside the head of the character. Great job!

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Reading Festival: Monica and Ella have made a treasure hunt of book titles

I had fun hunting for book titles in this poem. How many can you find? What a great idea to make a poem together with a friend.


Treasure Hunt

by Monica and Ella (Year 6, Russley School)


trek through Northwood, around the twist

over the seas to Port Blanc

across the bridge to the hidden house

a skeleton key’s under a plank

the travelling restaurant will meet you

at a lake made of crocodile tears

you will sail around Snakehead Cliff

to Goldilocks and the Three Bears

they’ll give you directions

to the fountain of youth

in which you’ll discover

the ring of truth

Reading Festival: Michael (6) and Max (6) are very hungry caterpillars in their cool poems!

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Two six-year-olds from Russley School were inspired by Eric Cale’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (I love this book!) to write a poem from the caterpillar’s  perpsective. What fun! I loved reading these. Great job Max and Michael!



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Reading Frestival: Sylvia’s poem is made of book titles. How many can you spot?

Sylvia has written a cool poem using book titles. She put the titles in bold but I am going to post it first with out bold so you can see if you can find them in the poem! I really enjoyed this. Have fun hunting. You can scroll down and finsd her version and spot all the books easily. Great job Sylvia!  (You could even a book title poem and not put the titles in capital letters!)

When You Reach Me

i will live Differently to

How I Live Now

Because you will help me find

Raven’s Gate

and after crossing

The Bridge

We will discover

the Secrets of Northern Lights, The Amber Spyglass, and The Subtle Knife

but then

Because Of Winn Dixie

i will discover that because of you more and more


are growing in my life and that we have become

Bad Girls

i will break free of

The Tulip Touch

but don’t

Take Your Last Breath

just because I’m gone

and don’t let

The Witches

catch you.

Hi Paula Green!  This is a poem for the “poems out of titles of books challenge”. All the phrases that are actually titles of books are written in italics and in bold. I haven’t actually read How I Live Now or Raven’s Gate yet but I added them to my poem because I want to read them.

Sylvia, Parnell District School, Auckland
When You Reach Me
i will live Differently to
How I Live Now
Because you will help me find
Raven’s Gate
and after crossing
The Bridge
We will discover
the Secrets of Northern LightsThe Amber Spyglass, and The Subtle Knife 
but then
Because Of Winn Dixie
i will discover that because of you more and more
are growing in my life and that we have become
Bad Girls
i will break free of
The Tulip Touch
but don’t
Take Your Last Breath
just because I’m gone
and don’t let
The Witches
catch you.

Reading Festvial: some reading snapshots by children – even a great grandad’s war diary is here!

Russley School students have sent in more reading snapshots. I am envious of anyone who can read in car because I can’t! But I guess it is fun reading the whizzing world through the window. Someone’s favourite character has the same name as him! My favourite bit is someone got to read their great grandad’s war diary! Someone mentioned Wonder — one of my favourite books! Great job students, I really enjoyed reading these.  AND I am delighted your teachers read you novels. COOL school!


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READING INTERVIEW with Dylan R, from Russley School, age 11, Year 6

What book did you love when you were little?: The Worm’s Inheritance

Did anyone read to you?: yes my grandad.

Has a book ever made you sad?: yes my great grandad’s war diary.

Has a book ever made you happy?: yes My Story



Reading Interview by Jacko, year 7, age 12yrs

A book that has made me laugh aloud because it was funny was Where Willy Went.

My favourite author is J.R.R Tolkien he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

My old teacher Mr Walker read me The Hobbit and I liked the way that he read it to me because Mr Walker says the characters’ names like the movie way.  {note from Paula, what a cool teacher!]

I like to go and visit the library because it is nice in there and a lot books and the librarians are so nice to you.

If I were stuck on a desert island, the three books I would take would be The Hobbit, Where Willy Went and all the WWE books.

When I was a little kid my mummy read to me, she read all the picture books because I liked the picture books.

I liked to read when I was a kid. My favourite book was Cars; I liked the way that there were eyes on the cars.

My favourite place to read is in my back yard, it is nice to read in the flowers.


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From Russley School, Christchurch (year 6, age 10yrs)

My favourite book character is Callum Ormand — he is my favourite because the cops and criminals are trying to capture him.

My favourite place to read is in bed because it is nice and relaxing.

I like reading because it is like a new world with every book.

When I was two, I loved a book called How to Count to Ten it was a good learning source.

Sometimes my mum read to me until I fell asleep.

A book has made me cry it was Conspiracy 365 when Callum Ormand nearly died from Sligo the main bad guy.

A book that made me happy was Conspiracy 365 when Callum Ormand found $100,000,000 dollars.

I visit the library lots. I love it because the library is so peaceful and quiet.

If I was stranded on a desert island, I would take Conspiracy 365, The Aliens are Coming and If.

Goosebumps- Deep Trouble 2 made me LOL when a girl drunk a potion and turned into a fish.

I like action books because they leave you on the tip of your tongue on any page.

Deep Trouble 2 has a terrible ending; it finished on a cliffhanger.

Circus Beserkers which Mr De Wit is reading to us is a great book. I like how there are ghosts in it.

I love poetry. My favourite poem is Teddy Bears Everywhere and I don’t have a favourite author.

I love reading New Zealand books but sadly, I don’t have a favourite author.



READING INTERVIEW with Alex Wright, Russley School, Year 6, age 10yrs

My sister read to me every day when I was young.

My favourite place to read is under a tree on a bench.

I like to read about adventure and mystery from the book Ranger’s Apprentice.

My favourite author is Anthony Horowitz. His books’ main character is Alex, the same as my name, and he is my favourite character.

I like going to the library to get my favourite books out.

If I was stuck on a desert island, I would bring Scorpio, How to Survive an Island and Bear Grylls.

The teacher read me Wonder and I liked it when it went from one person to another.

I have read a book with a bad ending; it was when a character was about to defeat the enemy and got stepped on by a giant.

Ranger’s Apprentice made me happy.


Reading interview with Darcy, year 7

I like to read in my room with the stereo on.

I like reading animal books.

My favourite author is Roald Dahl and my favourite book from him is The Twits.

My mum and my aunt used to read to me.

I like car magazines because I like cars.

My teacher read Parvana’s Journey and it was great.

I don’t like happy endings because I like a great twist at the end.

I like the library because it’s nice and quiet.

If I was on a deserted island, I would take James and the Giant Peach, Parvana’s Journey and The Twits.

My favourite NZ author is Margaret Mahy and the book The Best Show on Earth.



Reading Interview with Rosie, Year 7, age 12yrs

The book that has made me sad was My Sister Jodie written by Jacqueline Wilson, it was sad when Jodie and Pearl were forced to move to a boarding school and when Jodie died.

My favourite place to read is the car. I like to read for long and short trips and the good thing is is that I don’t get car-sick!

My favourite author would have to be Jacqueline Wilson because I’ve read a lot of her books and they are always brilliant.

A teacher read me The Hobbit. I liked how Mr Walker did different voices and the style of writing and that it is a good fantasy novel.



Reading Interview with Rachel, year 8

I didn’t like books when I was little, but now I do.

I like to go to the library because you can get any book you want.

When I was about 6-7 years old, Mum read to me and my sister.

I don’t have a favourite place to read because I can read anywhere.

A book that has made me laugh out loud is Class A because a boy had just asked a girl out and the girl said yes but there is rule that you must change your underwear every day.

If I was stuck on a desert island, the three books I would take would be Dear You To, Pushing the Limits and Shadow Wave.

I like to read about romance and action in the same book.

My favourite book character is James from CHERUB.

My favourite author is Robert Muchamore I like his books because they are all different but have the same subject; they are about special agents.


Reading Festival: 8-year-old Isak’s poem is a cool Margaret Mahy mix-up!

Isak has used some Margaret Mahy titles to write a cool poem. It is fun to read. He has put the titles in bold so they zing out. Young poets, you could also try writing a poem where you hide the titles and the reader has to go hunting for them. That’s what I did with my poem Where The Mild Things Are! Great job Izak.

Isak is aged 8, in Year 4 and goes to Russley School in Christchurch.

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Reading Festival: Monica’s poem wears plaits!

Monica has written a poem from the point-of-view of one her favourite book characters. I like the way the poem has two different halves. I like discovering the character’s name on the last line! Great job!

Monica is aged 11, in Year 6 and goes to Russley School.


Come Into My World

In my world, life is a rollercoaster,

riding waves of fantastic curves and loops

boring people, who actually like plutification,

stroll along in a straight line- going forwards

without any exciting swirls and swerves


I take the ride that nobody dares to take,

going backwards I fight strong men and bring them to the ground

I buy as many lollies as I like with my shiny pirate gold,

I swim in crocodile infested waters and fight ferocious bulls,

I build a plane and ride it into the forest…

crash in a river,

hop in a barrel and plummet down a waterfall,

into the misty water below…

but that’s just me, Pippi Longstockings


Reading Festival: The last week comes with some extra challenges!


This is the last week of the reading festival so there is still time for me to post things and still time for you to enter the competitions.

Poetry Box will be going on holiday soon but I will tell you all about that next week.

Here are some more challenges for you (spot prizes for some).

1. Try writing a poem as if you are your favourite character.

2. Try writing a poem to your favourite author.

3.  Try writing a poem using the first sentence of your favourite book as the title.

4. Try writing a poem made up of the titles of books.

5. Try hiding the titles of books in a poem.

6. Try writing a poem about your favourite place to read.


Send to Include your name, age, year and name of school.

You can include your teacher’s name and email address. A spot prize for my favourites.

Reading Festival: Ewen is inspired to write a dog poem

Ewen has been inspired to write a dog poem after reading books about a dog in the war. I really like the way the dog blends in with the snow.




My name is Mist the dog

eyes dark, like shadows

and fur white, like morning mist.


I blend in with snow

like abominable snowman

with my ‘always clean’ fur.


I am a dog

not only stunning on the outside

but stunning in the inside.


Ewen aged 11, Year 6, Fendalton Open Air Primary School, Christchurch

Reading Festival: two dancing dog poems


Two Year-five boys from Russley School were inspired by Margaret Mahy‘s Dashing Dog to write some dog poems. My favourite bit is the shoe bit. When our dogs were little they used to like eating shoes and jandals (so when my daughters’ friends came to visit we had to hid their shoes!).

23 Josh age 10 year 5 22 Kyle age 10 year 5