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Posted 20 hours ago

Can I Build Another Me?

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I cannot remember exactly who first mentioned this book on Twitter a few years ago, but to whoever it was, I am eternally grateful. Younger classes will enjoy imagining what a robot close of themselves might look, act and feel like, while older children can get philosophical about the factors that have come together to make them who they are, or even about the potential ethics of cloning oneself (I’m sure overly busy teachers may also be tempted to wish for a clone! I am interrogating the role of anecdotes in the classroom at the minute – I guess this is my little teaching preoccupation – and this book has a great scope for it. I could have shared the weird feeling it gives me when I wear gloves for too long, which makes me feel like I am being suffocated.

follows a child's hilarious, wildly inventive train of thought as he decides to make a clone of himself - and starts to ponder what makes him HIM. Kevin, a little boy fed up with doing things he doesn’t want to do, like homework and daily chores, decides to spend all his pocket money on a robot that he intends to turn into a clone of himself.The circle is just to cement the idea that we need to listen to each other, and make sure that everyone can see each other. Storytelling can go beyond narrating the written word, and I think there is merit in pupils ability to speak narratively about their own experiences.

Some kids might point out birthmarks or scars, some of them might talk about trapping their fingers, or about a special piece of jewellery they are wearing, or why they are wearing mehndi at the moment.Being able to tell a story, in the form of anecdote, is a valuable social skill, a form of confidence building, and it is also supportive of an understanding of storytelling more generally. is one of those so well written and profound picture books that dare to explore big, philosophical concepts in such a hilarious and inventive way, that by the time you finish reading it, notions like existentialism, individuality, selfhood or life experience are already familiar. A loose set of lesson plans can be found here – I am going to use this when we get back with Year 4 over the course of the four lessons, one a fortnight, that I cover each class during their Creative Arts Day. Some children are more than happy to wear their heart on their sleeve, whereas others may be much more reticent.

Often, the fact that some children are willing to share does prompt other children to be a bit more confident to reflect and share. To get what I mean, think about one of your classes: you will have a couple of children in there who can capture the attention of everyone in their class when they are telling even a quite objectively boring and uneventful anecdote, and you will have some children who, even if something truly remarkable has happened to them, haven’t got the capacity to tell it well.

However, before he can bring his cloned self to life, he must embark on a quest to uncover the essence of his individuality. I shared how I have always bitten my nails, and my Dad really hates it (always has) and he threatened to put English Mustard on my fingernails if I didn’t stop.

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