September 10th, 2015

pugs of the frozen north: five ideas for the classroom

A couple weeks ago, I got an excited e-mail from a teacher named Claire Williams:

I'm not sure whether you'll remember me - I was sat next to you at the Book Awards dinner in Nottingham and we talked about how Pugs of the Frozen North sounded like an exciting novel to use for the Polar Bear topic that I have to plan for the first two weeks of term with my Polar Bears class. Well, I've read it, I just know that the children will LOVE it and I have also decided that if we're going to get as much enjoyment out of it as it has to offer, it's going to need more than two weeks! I'm going into school tomorrow to turn my classroom into the North Pole and the novel is going to be at the heart of our topic for the whole first half of this term, which I think I'm going to call ‘The Race to the Top of the World’ … I just wondered whether there is any chance that you and/or Philip might be able to spare a few minutes to come up with some sort of writing challenge based on Pugs of the Frozen North?

So we did! And since we'd done it for Claire, it made sense to turn it into notes that more people could print out. I consulted with Claire to get the notes as accessible as possible for teachers to use and adapt.
**Click here to download the notes as a printable PDF!**

Here are FIVE WAYS to use Pugs of the Frozen North in the classroom!

1. Draw a Pug!

Give your students confidence in character creation by making a pug out of simple shapes. It’s much more fun to write about a character who looks back off the page at you!

How you could build on this:

• Have everyone draw their pug on brown paper (such as parcel wrapping paper) in thick black pen. Give them pastels to make the whites of the eyes stand out and have each child design a different colour jumper for their pug. Have them cut out the pugs and display them on a class bulletin board.

• You could expand on this by having each child name his or her pug. Perhaps the child could write a paragraph about the pug’s personality and achievements, such as which sled races it’s already taken part in. Cut out these text boxes and hang them next to each pug as part of the classroom display.

Pugs drawn by Katie Hand, Keara Stewart, Teri Smith's daughter, Sam Reeve and Sam Decie
Browse a large gallery of all-ages pug drawings here!

2. 50 Kinds of Snow

In Pugs of the Frozen North, True Winter brings fifty different kinds of snow. With the class, create a list of all the kinds of snow mentioned in the book. Continue writing the list until the class reaches fifty, imagining what other sorts of snow might exist in True Winter.

Songsnow, screechsnow, gigglesnow, fartingsnow

How you could build on this:

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