I love seeing how teachers use my books in the classroom. THE QUEEN'S HAT is proving very popular for teaching geography, creative writing, pronouns and even music (thanks to the London Symphony Orchestra's recent adaptation of the book). 

Now it seems that PLEASE MR PANDA is working its way into the learning environment, too, in spite of Mr Panda's permanent glower. Plus, it appears to be presenting the perfect excuse for teachers to dine on doughnuts during recess! I know this because I've seen the tweets.

Some classes have decorated paper doughnuts (Pollock would be proud) and others have made wacky doughnut chains to decorate their classroom with. Some teachers have conducted fun reenactments of the manners-themed story to really drive home the book's message of not forgetting that elusive magic word. Other teachers have focused more on the black and white animals featured in the story. At a recent school visit, one pupil proudly pointed out that Mr Panda does not like doughnuts because pandas like bamboo.

But just the other week I was blown away with what one particular school did with PLEASE MR PANDA. Not only did they transform a class into a fully operational doughnut production site, but they also cleverly delivered a series of lessons that related to different parts of their modified classroom.

With help and inspiration from his creative peers, Mr Thompson turned his class into an interactive doughnut factory. To the right are some photos of the class.

Burdett-Coutts & Townshend Foundation CE Primary School was a abuzz with fun activities based on Mr Thompson's inventive expansion of my book.

There were many fun and educational tasks to be carried out in order for the factory to run smoothly and effectively. But first, the pupils had to apply for their preferred job role by filling out a simple application form. And I can gather from the photos that there were many jobs on offer.

There's the customer-service based role of answering the phone and taking orders. There's the role of mixing ingredients and not burning doughnuts in the oven. There's the task of operating the cash register. And there's the doughnut truck driving role.

I'm guessing a cleaner was required at the end of each shift to sweep up the mess, or perhaps that role got lumbered with the teacher and TA. Every job has its perks though (yes, I did notice the real-life doughnuts in the photos).

Each role has it's own lesson, but what's wonderful is that they've all got one thing in common. They all encourage pupils to cooperate and work together as a team, and this is probably the best lesson of all.

Doughnut factory duties aside, the children also created an amazing gallery of chalk-drawn characters from the book (the lemur, the ostrich, the penguin, the whale, the skunk and the titular panda). You can see some of them on the wall in one of the photos.

I'd like to thank Mr Thompson and the school for allowing me to share these photos on my blog. Now that I've posted this article, I have a feeling that Mr Panda's doughnut factory is going to expand, like a franchise! 

Oh, and if you do remodel your classroom, don't discard your materials because doughnuts are set to feature in the next two manners-themed Mr Panda picture books! 

Thanks again, Mr Thompson, for tweeting me your photos. I look forward to meeting you and your class in World Book Week next year!
 

IMAG3738.jpg
Posted
AuthorSteve Antony