Do you read a range of books with your children? All too often it’s easy to stick to tried and tested books, rather than those that challenge you, as an adult, to really engage with it and learn, alongside the child.
I admit that I have tended to rely too heavily on the easy book but I have been keen to look at how to get a wider range of books into the literary diet that the children take. We were sent a copy of The Phoenix of Persia a month or two ago, and about three weeks or so ago, we took a look at this book together.
This book is published by Tiny Owl who publish a wonderful range of diverse books, bringing tales from other cultures to the UK in a super accessible way. The Phoenix of Persia is a really interesting project that works alongside Iranian musicians (it’s an Iranian story) as well as providing a really comprehensive set of teacher resources.
The illustrations in The Phoenix of Persia are fabulous; full of colour and depth. It also has a QR code inside which, when you use to play a musical audiobook of the story. I set this off to play as the children read the book alongside the audio. The way this is done is really good, with each character having a particular instrument playing. It’s done in a really good way, and it’s interesting to hear these instruments; many of which I suspect haven’t been heard by many UK children.
This story, The Phoenix of Persia, is an important story and us based on a story from the Shahnameh, one of the great epics of world literature by the 10th-century Iranian poet Ferdowsi. This is not a story that is traditionally told here in the UK, but I think it’s really important that children are exposed to a range of cultures.
Schools can apply to borrow a box of resources that sit alongside this book and the teacher resources provide lots of different ideas for activities to sit alongside this story. They can be found here. They’re super comprehensive and there is a lot that I felt able to use, as a Home Educator. It would also work well in a co-op group too if you felt able to run this.
We had a go at creating our own Phoenix feathers, which worked much better than I anticipated and we looked at mosaics. We will revisit this again in the autumn when we look at the Middle East as part of our continents and geography work.