New Plazoom podcast puts Puffin authors in the classroom
By Democrat reporter
SCHOOLS everywhere are being given the chance to bring top children’s writers into their classrooms, for free.
This exciting opportunity is thanks to Author In Your Classroom – a new series of podcasts created as part of a strategic partnership between Puffin Schools, Teach Primary magazine and the resource website, Plazoom.
Starting with Murder Most Unladylike author, Robin Stevens, the podcasts celebrate the pleasure of reading books, and digs into what goes into a great piece of writing – from why one word is better than another, to creating memorable characters and planning plots.
“We think of it as a ‘virtual author visit’,” explains podcast presenter and Plazoom’s education content manager, Helen Mulley.
“It’s produced to be played in classrooms, so the authors and I chat in a way that brings children into the conversation – and we deliberately include opportunities for teachers to pause the recording and talk about specific points that are being raised. I’ve had such fun putting it together!”
To accompany the podcasts, teaching experts at Plazoom have created free resources that can be used to develop children’s writing, with each episode focusing on a different skill – from how to evoke powerful emotions in a reader through to creating a piece of polished non-fiction. The teaching packs include lesson plans, activity sheets and wall displays to get pupils discussing the books they love, and what makes the words so special.
Teach Primary magazine is published by Colchester based Aceville, part of DC Thomson
“We’re so excited to be partnering with Teach Primary on the launch of Author In Your Classroom with such a talented line up of Puffin authors,” comments Andrea Bowie, Puffin brand marketing manager. “In 2020, we’re celebrating 80 years of big dreams inspired by Puffin books and we hope the partnership will inspire children in their classrooms to start writing their stories and become the Puffin authors of the future.”
Each new episode will be showcased in Teach Primary magazine – which is sent to KS1 and KS2 teachers across the country – and shared with the combined audiences of Puffin, Teach Primary and Plazoom.
A raft of incredible talent is set to feature in the first season, with episode two bringing listeners into the world of Sam Copeland, who talks about his books – including Charlie Changes Into a Chicken – and his approach to creating memorable characters. Other new and noteworthy guests set to feature throughout 2020 include David O’Doherty, Cat Doyle, Burhana Islam and Hana Tooke.
“It’s such a privilege to bring such passionate and inspiring authors into classrooms, encouraged by Helen’s obvious delight in their stories,” says Christopher Phin, DC Thomson Media’s head of podcasts.
“This may be first and foremost a podcast for busy teachers to enjoy with their pupils, but I also look forward to listening to them in the car with my daughter! I can picture, too, some young people discovering these to listen to on their own with joy, and anyone who wants to help spark pleasure in literacy in kids from Iowa to Ipswich can’t help but warm to the cosy, empowering conversations.”
Schools can access the podcast through Apple, Spotify and Google, with the supporting resources available to download for free from https://www.plazoom.com/.