English KS1 / KS2: 'Refugee Boy' by Benjamin Zephaniah

Actor Alexander Vlahos reads extracts from 'Refugee Boy' by Benjamin Zephaniah, explaining why he loves the book, how it captured his imagination, and why he loves to read.

The real and animated worlds collide to reveal the wonder that is contained within the book.

Alexander explores the world of the novel in the very place it is set: Manor Park in East London.

Teacher Notes

The children could look at a range of journalistic writing and factual literature connected to the subject of refugees to help develop their own journalistic style and to promote discussion.

Following the suggestion of Alexander Vlahos in the clip, the children could explore their own family history and write their own family trees or autobiographies.

Thinking about the character of Alem, the children could write imaginary letters to help him settle in the UK or write letters in character of Alem back to his parents in Africa.

This clip can be used in illustrating the work of classic children's authors that children may not discover on their own, to encourage viewers to explore and develop their own taste in books and to highlight the huge range of reading experiences available to young people.

It can also be used as a springboard to discuss immigration, what it means to be British, friendship, especially with people from other countries and how war affects young people and their families.

Curriculum Notes

These clips are suitable for teaching English and Literacy at Key Stage 1, 1st Level, Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level.