Pirates, princesses and minions were just some of the colourful characters that could be seen at the Dylan Thomas Centre last Thursday as we celebrated World Book Day.
The sounds of stories and laughter were joined by those of 60 excited children from Casllwchwr Primary who were visiting the Centre, colourfully dressed as characters from their favourite books.
The Year Three and Four pupils enjoyed guided tours of the ‘Love the Words’ exhibition, exploring the life and work of Dylan Thomas through the interactive displays, audio recordings and related objects.
Creating stories in the learning space
We also welcomed them to our dedicated learning space where they were encouraged to create their own imaginative stories and poems in a special creative writing workshop led by the writer and cartoonist, Sion Tomos Owen.
“The children have really enjoyed getting to know Dylan Thomas, his life and some of his work.
“The exhibition is both informative and entertaining, and the Centre’s learning team have delivered a selection of activities that has helped to inspire the young minds of our pupils, giving them confidence to create their own stories and poems.
“Taking learning out of the classroom to environments such as the Dylan Thomas exhibition engages children in a different way, helping to improve pupil attainment.”
Mr Rhys Sandels, Casllwchwr Primary (who came dressed as the Fantastic Mr Fox!)
Families enjoyed the fun too!
The Casllwchwr youngsters weren’t the only ones to enjoy the World Book Day fun at the Centre. In the afternoon we had drop-in sessions where we invited families to create their own books to fill with stories. Many had had their faces painted as a much-loved book character, like Mog and the Tiger Who Came To Tea!
Popular among the activities on offer in the Centre’s Learning Space was the animal puppets. The puppets represent some of the animals which feature in Dylan’s poetry and can be seen in the exhibition’s children’s trail, like the snail from Dylan’s ‘Poem in October’ which reads ‘the sea wet church the size of a snail’, or a raven from his line ‘Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks’.
“We all know that the ability to read and write helps people to get on in life, but now there is increasing evidence that reading for pleasure can improve people’s wellbeing throughout life too.
“Events like World Book Day offer people a fun and engaging way to get into reading and I am proud that we have been able to offer young children and families opportunities to get involved.”
Councillor Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Healthy City, City and County of Swansea
Taking learning out of the classroom to inspire young minds
The ‘Love the Words’ exhibition explores Dylan’s life and work through interactive displays, recordings and related objects. Through the dedicated learning space we are able to offer local schools opportunities to take learning out of the classroom, to get to know Dylan further in a fun way, and help young children develop their literacy skills.
“It was absolutely brilliant to see how inspired the children were by the exhibition, the activities, and the books they brought in with them.
“One of my favourite moments was when a young pupil from Casllwchwr, completely unprompted, started to write his own poem, after reading and listening to Dylan’s ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.
“Everyone had so much fun celebrating World Book Day and heeding Dylan’s advice to ‘love the words’, and we’re looking forward to reading the poems and stories that were inspired during the day.”
Nicola Kelly, Learning Officer, Dylan Thomas Centre
If you’d like to find out more about the Dylan Thomas ‘Love the Words’ exhibition and opportunities to take learning out of the classroom contact our learning officer, Nicola Kelly, on 01792 463980 or email email@example.com.
This post is also available in: Welsh