Play on Words


Age group: Year 5 - 6

Available: Monday – Friday

Length: 120 minutes. Please allow more time after your workshop to explore the galleries and public spaces

Group size: minimum 10

Key Skills

English, Creative Writing, Literacy, Critical Thinking

Workshop outline 

Experiment with words and performance in this inspiring workshop for Primary students. The workshop, designed to stimulate the senses, aims to increase confidence in using language playfully and creatively.

Workshop leaders begin by asking the question ‘what is creative writing?’ and challenge participants to think experimentally about it. Students will be encouraged to use their knowledge of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs to collect words inspired by the fascinating printed books, letters, diaries and manuscripts on display in the Treasures gallery, recording them on a pre-printed page for their own book with a difference.

Using an aleatory technique (writing using chance or random selection of words) students will generate an imaginative text, which they will present both visually through a range of art materials and physically through a group-generated performance.

Pre-visit activities

  • Introduce the class to nonsense poetry and ask students to read some examples aloud in class.
  • Cut out different words from newspapers or magazines and splice them together to create poems. Repeat the exercise using magnetic poetry.
  • Reinforce the meaning of nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs.

Post-visit activities

  • Make a classroom display of work produced during the workshop.
  • Make a cover for the book created during the workshop.
  • Develop the story into a performance.

Ready to book?

Watch a short video about your visit to the British Library   How to book