What happens at night…

At the beginning of Y6, I like to give the children writing journals. These books are for the children’s own musings and writing; note- taking; to plan their stories; to write lists and reminders as they fancy; and for quick writes.

Quick writes are short and fun warm-up exercises that we use to get our “writing muscles” in gear. They are usually related to the next writing project we are about to undertake (but don’t have to be) but more importantly, they encourage children to freely experiment with writing styles. These ideas can then be developed or abandoned as the children wish. As the writing journals aren’t marked, children feel much more enthusiastic about “trying” different writing styles or ideas and taking ownership as writers. I usually give the children something to start off with. For example, a reading of an extract from “Boy” by Roald Dahl about how a sweet was invented; then the children make a list of sweets that they enjoy eating; this could lead to a brief five-minute write which is a sensuous description of a favourite sweet OR an imaginative backstory on how another sweet came into being.

Last week, I read children the following poem:

What Happens While We Are Sleeping

Frost. Foxes. Owl-kills.

The wheel of stars.

Thundering lorries with somewhere

to get to by dawn.

Beads of dew forming

along the telegraph wires.

A red deer delicately eating

each closed tulip like a prayer.

Esther Morgan

Children then wrote their own poems with a similar title. Please enjoy their fantastic poems- humorous, candid, insightful. I really do have a bunch of very talented writers Masha’Allah!

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Husna

The cotton curtains of the sky darken

And the shining moon is revealed

The sparkling stars like lamps in the distance
Foxes fight and rummage through the bins

The television is switched off

Windows and curtains close

Beds and blankets are opened

Snoring can be heard from the next bed

Pillows comfort a head

And the day goes to sleep.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Hafsah

The sky darkens
the moon shines
the world sleeps
except the noctual
Foxes hunting
owls hooting
a lonely person lies in bed

The stars twinkle up ahead
whilst people lie in bed
my book smuggled under my pillow
night lights on

cats fighting in the garden.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Juwayriya

Thumping footsteps 

The TV crackling

My brother doing the bins at 2 o’clock in the morning again

Foxes going through our bin

My sister pulling the cover over her

My brother knocking on my wall from his room

Me knocking back from my sisters and my room

My Mother coming to my brothers room to tell him to get off his Chromebook and go to bed

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Yumna

Owls are hooting

Foxes slyly pad past

Drunkards drinking and smoking

Dogs are barking

Motorbikes rev

Tossing and turning

Flushing in the bathroom

Sister heavily breathing

The garden is bathed in moonlight, alive.

Wind howling, clawing at the window, being the robber that was never there

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Munira

Dad snoring

Someone walking

Lights on in the kitchen 

Clock ticking

Floorboards creaking

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Maysoon

Owls wake and hunt prey.

Siblings go downstairs to get a midnight snack.

Foxes stroll through the streets.

Cats fight each other in their gangs.

Fading footsteps as people stumble into bed.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Ahmed

Foxes screaming

Rain dropping

Floorboards creaking

Cars hooting

Grandma snoring.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Hasan

Foxes screaming 

Rain drops 

Planes  noise

Birds resting in  their nest 

Stars are shining in the sky

Flowers and plants are still growing

Cars are rushing on roads 

People are snoring 

Babies are crying

People are working in night shifts

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Zeynab

Dad snores louder than ever 

Younger sister mumbles in her sleep

Younger brother sits and moans and groan

Youngest crying hour after hour 

Mum going to fetch milk

Out the window, 

People talk and snicker

Cars puff and gruff

Light flickers down the street..

Foxes howl and dig 

Dog bark and bite

Cats meow and hiss.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Mu’Min

Loud snoring,

Babies crying

Foxes coming 

Rabbits dying

Wolves howling

Owls hooting

Cats meowing

Rats squeaking

Mums takes my books here and there

Dusting the floor and the air 

Dad watching tv 

And skyping my family

Fish fighting (because they aren’t compatible)

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Zain

Birds are tweeting.

Brother yawning so loud.

Mum shouting at dad.

Dad was eating so loud.

Cousin on tv whilst sleeping.

Sister playing with dolls.

Foxes  running and sleeping.

Kids trampolining and screaming.

Fireworks are set off.

What Happens While We Are Sleeping by Mohamed

Owls hooting,

Bright lights passing my window,

Still reading my book,

Mother downstairs,

Baby crying,

Time for sleep.