Free resources for home learning: film, books, art and more

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Here’s a collection of useful, free creative resources for home learning that might just help those of you trying to keep the kids busy.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I’ve been compiling a list of free resources to assist with home learning. Here’s some creative ideas for young people to engage with.

Audible – Stories

Audible have launched a special collection of stories for children, ranging from the more modern to the classics, all free to listen to. They’ve also got a range of six different languages too!

Authorfy  – Playlist of author videos

Free to join, contains several videos of authors reading from their books, creative writing challenges and much more.

Book Trust – Illustrator playlist

21 videos from illustrators – including Cressida Cowell, Chris Riddell and Rod Biddulph to name but a few – giving tutorials on how to draw some familiar faces. They also have this fabulous Book Finder which is a great resource on finding books on a wide variety of genres.

CLPE – Power Of Pictures

A series of resources exploring the craft of illustrated books creation and design as a way of raising children’s reading and writing.

Egmont – 14 stories in 14 days

Egmont have launched 14Stories14Days: a new website, inspired by the recommended 14 days of self-isolation, offering 14 days of free content to provide entertainment and educational support for parents, carers and children across the UK This content includes author videos, filmed story times, tutorials and daily competitions.

English Media Centre  – Lesson ideas

EMC have started a blog series of ideas of tasks that teachers can set for students in encourage creating a a community of learners. These lesson ideas can easily be adapted by parents for home learning. They’ve also made their fantastic KS3 home learning booklet free for the foreseeable.

Film Stories Junior – Writing opportunity

A magazine written mainly by young people for young people. All young people (aged 5-15) need to do is write 4-500 words about film – it could be favourite film, favourite genre, director, actor, era etc. They will be sent a £20 book token if published. But they need to pitch the idea first to junior at filmstories co uk.

Into Film – Activity Bank

A range of different activities to help support children, young people and their families to gain a fun, educational benefit from film watching, as well as helping them consider the many varied careers within the film industry. In particular the Big Dream competition, in collaboration with Puffin books, to design a storyboard (deadline 3rd August) looks a lot of fun.

National Literacy Trust – Family Zone

NLT have designed a special portal for their resources, split up by age group (birth-4 years, 5-8 years and 9-12 years) you will find ideas and guidance for a range of different activities – from free reading and writing resources, audiobooks, videos, competitions and reading challenges.

Miss Harrison’s Reading Recommendations – 9-12 years old and 13+ years

On my blog I’ve compiled a list of recent recommended reads split up according to age group. As an experienced English teacher and the literacy coordinator at an East London secondary school, I love to read and recommend books. Please get in touch via Twitter @sometimesmovies, if you’d like some recommendations for a young person. Just give me a few ingredients (e.g era the book is set, genre, character, favourite book or tv show etc) and I’ll reply with some book ideas.

Ministry Of Stories – Creative Writing Prompts

The Ministry of Stories is a local writing and mentoring centre in east London, where anyone aged eight to 18 can come and discover their own gift for writing. They’ve provided a batch of multimedia resources to inspire all sorts of creative writing.

Museum Of London – Cross-curricular links

The Museum of London has a range of amazing resources from across different subjects – geography, history, English, PSHE to name but a few.

Read For Good – Reading Challenge

Read For Good have created this brilliant list of 20 reading challenges to get students widening the range of their reading choices.

Reading Zone – Children’s Zone and Young Adult

Online portals for young people to post book reviews, take part in competitions and various activities.

Scholastic – Home learning packs

Scholastic have put together a carefully selected range of home learning resource packs and practice books are designed to help your child get the most from school and support their test and exam preparation, whether they’re sitting phonics screening tests, SATs or GCSEs. Closely matched to the National Curriculum, every resource provides engaging, reliable practice for all key skills, whatever your child’s age or stage. These have been divided up into four sections – early years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and GCSEs.

TeachIt – Activities and resources

Teachit English have made all of their resources free until the end of April – you just have to sign up for a free account. They have thousands of resources – from lesson plans, to PowerPoints to writing & reading journals and all sorts of creative writing prompts.

Toppsta – Book reviews

Toppsta’s website has countless book giveaways and an archive of hundreds of book reviews and activities for a wide variety of ages. Young People are given the option to pitch for a preview copy of a book, in exchange for a book review. It’s also a great opportunity to share their thoughts of books and encourage others to read their own favourites.

Young Writers – Creative Writing Competitions

Young Writers have 3 free themed creative writing packs. Each pack leads to students producing a piece of writing they can enter in a competition, deadline is 30th April. The three options for KS3/4/5 are ‘through their eyes’ (developing empathy), ‘spine chillers’ and ‘SOS sagas’. The top entries are then compiled into regional anthologies – seeing their work being being published has an invaluable impact on young people!

World Book Day –Primary and Secondary 

World Book Day have hundreds of resources for both primary and secondary students. They have an incredible range of book extracts that could be used to lead into discussion and tasks. They also have a fantastic collection of author and illustrator masterclasses here, which can be used to develop young people’s writing and drawing.

Lead image: BigStock

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