The Magic Pencil exhibition and website celebrated children's book illustration and brought together the work of 13 illustrators who offered familiar as well as new and varied ways of approaching book illustration.

Both offered foreign language teachers of children and teenagers a valuable resource.

Since the Magic Pencil website has now closed, we will continue to host the materials here on TeachingEnglish. You can find ideas and downloadable worksheets for Primary and Secondary level below.

You can download teaching materials for teachers of English at primary level based on the book covers by artists included in the Magic Pencil exhibition. These covers are included in the materials, which you can copy. The theme provides a point of entry to the associated storybooks. It is suggested that teachers do some or all of these activities before moving on to the specific theme-based notes on selected stories included in the Me and My Family materials.

There are reading, writing and drawing materials including student worksheets based on the following books:

  • Susan Laughs by Jeanne Wills and Tony Ross
  • The Sea-thing Child by Russell Hoban illustrated by Patrick Benson
  • It Was You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark
  • The Green Ship by Quentin Blake
  • Cloudland by John Burningham
  • I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child

Download the primary materials:

At the secondary level, carefully selected titles can be used as bridging books for pupils moving from primary to secondary and from storytelling (listening to stories aloud) to more independent reading and increased reader involvement. The teacher support materials aimed at secondary students of English provide ideas, techniques and downloadable activity sheets provide an innovative approach to using children's literature that promotes children and teenager's language development in an enjoyable visual, literary and cultural context making use of new technology. The materials can also be used to promote values and citizenship education and to develop intercultural awareness, through comparing and contrasting Magic Pencil illustrators and writers with ones from their own country and culture.

There is an introductory theme for secondary engagement through the artists, which provides a point of entry to the associated storybooks. It is suggested that teachers do some or all of these activities before moving on to the specific theme-based notes on selected stories. The activities and tasks outlined in the materials are designed to be used flexibly in order to create story-based lessons or longer units of work.

Download the secondary materials:

Materials by Carol Read. Carol is a well-known expert, teacher trainer and materials writer in the field of young learners. She worked for the British Council in Portugal as a teacher and teacher trainer and in Spain as Assistant Director of Studies of the Young Learners Centre, Madrid.

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