What is Writing? Bones to Bytes

Monday to Friday FREE
Primary What is Writing
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  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7797
  • Email: learning@bl.uk
  • Admission: Free entry

What is writing? Why do we write? What materials are used for writing? Explore these questions and more in this creative workshop. The session will support students to engage with, and enjoy, the process of writing, its incredible history, and its production over time.

Students will begin the workshop by thinking about why we use writing as a form of communication. They will do an object-handling activity looking at natural and man-made writing tools such as vellum, wax tablets and quill pens.

Participants will then do a treasure hunt in our Treasures Gallery to uncover a range of written formats from papyrus to vellum and from handwritten letters to scrolls. In the Learning Centre, they will use art materials to make their own writing. By the end of the workshop, students will have created their own ‘goody bag’ of writing to use as a basis for post-visit activities back at school.

This programme is generously supported by the Ernest Cook Trust.

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Online Resources

The British Library has a wealth of free learning resources to support lesson planning, classroom work, revision and research. Find out more


Age group: Year 4 - 6
When: Monday to Friday
Length: 90 minutes. Please allow more time after your workshop to explore the galleries and public spaces.
Group size:

minimum 10, maximum 30 per session

Key skills: History, Literacy, Critical Thinking
Price: Admission: Free entry
Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7412 7797
Book now