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The Tin Forest

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Your class. must be able to punctuate the passage/sentences by adding in capital letters and full stops. This activity for The Tin Forest focuses on Phonics Phases 3-6 and we’ve also created a blank resource to allow your class to show the sounds they know.

The Tin Forest by Helen Ward is a beautiful and poetic fable written about an old man who lives in a Tin Forest, otherwise known as a rubbish dump of unloved things nobody wanted anymore. The old man wishes for a better place to live. With his own initiative, will he make this junkyard into a wonderland? If would be useful for your class to be able to recognise the use of commas for lists and fronted adverbials.The Tin Forest reads like a fable, telling the story of an old man living in a desolate jungle of cast away rubbish, trying to make good of unwanted, forgotten objects. With no nature around him, the man dreams of a colourful forest alive with life, something that seemingly could not be further from the metal wasteland where he spends his days. That is, until an idea sparks, and a new type of forest begins to form. Nice story - old man daydreams of a forest with trees, flowers and wild animals and then proactively creates this place from tin.

Although we are focusing on English, it would be remiss not to mention the artistic potential of The Tin Forest. The book could be used as a trigger for some fantastic artwork, exploring contrasts in tone and texture, exploring mixed media or responding emotionally to the story. Maybe your class will be inspired to create a forest of their own! In this resource, your class will circle the correct words to complete the sentences. Each sentence gives some information about the old man with some information being obviously apparent and other information based on making simple inferences. Education Shed Ltd, Severn House, Severn Bridge, Riverside North, Bewdley, Worcestershire, UK, DY12 1ABThe Tin Forest was published in 2001, making it a natural choice for a Reading Rainbow episode about 9/11. The larger theme of the episode was picture books for dark days: “If you’re ever going through a rough time, the students at PS 234 would like to help you out by suggesting some books that will make you feel better,” Burton says, then adds, as he does in every episode, “But you don’t have to take my word for it.” Burton tells the audience that one way the kids recovered hope after 9/11 was learning they weren’t alone. And that’s what bugs me about The Tin Forest. Over the course of the story the old man changes the forest from something “filled with all the things that no one wanted,” to something “filled with all the things that everyone wanted.” But we never see “everyone.” He’s still alone.

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