Wednesday, 4 October 2017

"No-one cuddles a crab" by Paul Cookson


In the shop window there were lots of  toys. Teddy the teddy, Ducky the duck, Mousey the mouse, Monkey the gorilla … and Colin - the crab. But no-one cuddles a crab.

Every day children would come into the shop. Some would choose Teddy the teddy, some would choose Ducky the duck, some would choose Mousey the mouse, some would choose Monkey the gorilla but no-one would choose Colin. Because no-one cuddles a crab.

And every day lots of new toys would come and live on the shelf – Stripy the tiger, Bobtail the rabbit, Laura the lion, Peter the panda, Carol the koala. All of them were soft and furry. There was even Squidgy the cuddly hedgehog. And then there was Colin. Because no-one cuddles a crab.

And because no-one cuddles a crab Colin never ever moved. Because no-one cuddles a crab his legs were bent. And because no-one cuddles a crab his once shiny pincers were very, very dusty.

And because no-one cuddles a crab Colin got pushed further to the back of the shelf and underneath all the other toys. Tusker the padded elephant was sitting on his long green tail, Harriet the hippo was flattening one of his short green legs and Charlotte the chimp was squashing his long green nose. And Colin was very sad and lonely. Because no-one cuddles a crab.

But one day a little girl called Daisy came in with her mummy. She didn’t want a teddy or a duck or a mouse or a gorilla. She didn’t want a tiger, a rabbit, a lion, a panda, a koala or a furry hedgehog called Squidgy. She didn’t want an elephant, a hippo or a chimp. She didn’t really know what she wanted until she saw a lonely pincer  sticking out. “ I want that ! ” she shouted. And Colin began to smile because usually … no-one cuddles a crab.

She straightened his nose, stretched out his legs and dusted his pincers. Daisy was happy and Colin was happy because even though no-one cuddles a crab, today was different.

Daisy cuddled Colin in the morning.
Daisy cuddled Colin when she ate her breakfast.
Daisy cuddled Colin while she watched her favourite television programmes.
Daisy cuddled Colin while she cleaned her teeth.
And last thing at night she cuddled Colin in bed.

Together, they played lots of games.
They played “Snap”
They played catch.
Sometimes they danced to music while Colin clicked his pincers
Sometimes they painted pictures.
Once, Daisy’s mum couldn’t find the cake knife so Colin helped out and cut the cake.
Once Colin used his teeth to cut off Daisy’s hair ( they both got into trouble for that )

Colin can be cheeky.
Sometimes he pinches chips from the plates when no-one’s looking
Sometimes he nips Daisy’s fingers
Sometimes he nips brother’s nose
Sometimes he nips Gran’s knees
Sometimes he nips mum’s toes
And once he even nipped dad on the …

But most of all Daisy and Colin cuddle. They are best friends and best friends cuddle, even if your best friend is a crab. Even though no-one cuddles a crab, Daisy does. Every day.  And every night.  Because no-one cuddles a crab – like Daisy cuddles a crab.
 Paul Cookson

Activity one:
Interior monologue: Write a paragraph( as if you were Colin) with the thoughts that must have crossed Colin's mind when he got pushed to the back of the shelf in paragraph five.( Do some artwork to illustrate your activity)

Activity two:
Write down a short dialogue between Daisy and her mother when Daisy saw Colin at the shop window.

Activity three:
What are crabs like?Where do they come from?How do they behave?

Activity four:
Which was your first toy?Was it a stuffed animal?Did you take a soft toy to bed for company?Was it a toy or a blanket/sheet?Did you cuddle it?
 Would you buy a stuffed crab to a little child?Why/Why not?


Why should people plant and care for trees? Read some of the reasons on the website below, choose 6 that you consider the most important ones, write them down and be prepared to discuss them in class:


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

" Robert and the Dog" by Ken Saro-Wiwa

Answer the following questions about the story:

1 Why did Robert feel extremely grateful to his new employers?

2 Did anything alter this idyllic situation? Why/Why not?

3 What was Robert's viewpoint and how did he express his anger?

4 Who are the victims of  injustice in the story? Explain why.

Ken Saro-Wiwa was a political activist in Nigeria. He was a committed campaigner on human rights and environmental issues. He was hanged for his beliefs in 1995.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Dear 7 th year students,

Do the following activity for next week, please. Follow the instructions given on the website.


Monday, 21 August 2017

"Full Stop"

"Full Stop" by Alecia McKenzie

Reading Comprehension questions:

1 How do Carmen and her grandmother communicate?
   What is unusual and surprising about it?

2 What do we get to know about their personalities?

3 Have you found any contradictions in Grandma Scottie's behaviour?

4 Stand in Carmen's shoes and write some of her thoughts after her mother's visit.

5 Consider the title of the story carefully and write about it.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017

"Possibilities" by Wislawa Szymborska



I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love's concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms' fairy tales to the newspapers' front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven't mentioned here
to many things I've also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

By Wislawa Szymborska (Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996)
From "Nothing Twice", 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh
Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh


  1. Read the poem and then listen to it read by Amanda Palmer here: http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/18/amanda-palmer-wislawa-szymborska-possibilities-poem-reading/
  2. Copy the lines you liked best
  3. Add five or six  lines expressing your preferences as the author has done