A River Child

£60.00 £48.00

By Dr Sue Lyle

This resource helps children to find out about rivers through the study of a 10-year old boy, Mohamed, in one village community in Nigeria called Gashaka. Through this broad reaching pack pupils are asked to compare and contrast the lives of children in Gashaka with their own community.

KS1 & KS2

Mixed Media Pack


A River Child is a geography-led, cross-curricular thematic approach to the development of literacy, aimed at 9-12 year olds. It consists of a set of learning activities, related to learning outcomes in Geography, Science, Design and Technology, English, Drama and ICT. It also provides the opportunity for teachers to introduce religious education though the study of Islam as practised by Mohamed, the boy whose story is the focus of the pack.

In the final part of the pack, the village is revisited years later to discover how an area of natural wilderness has been saved and with it the way of life of the people who depend on it. Learn about the creation of Gashaka-Gumti National Park and see how a potential environmental disaster has been turned into a success story. This in turn gives an opportunity to study about National Parks in the UK and gain a better understanding of how we can make a difference and protect our environment and the lives of the people who depend on it. The activities and contents include:

  • A Culturegram – Six copies of a full-colour poster that depicts photographs and images of the people, animals and landscape of Gashaka
  • Card-Sorting and Drama Activities to deepen children’s understanding of different cultures
  • Extensive Teacher’s Handbook to support a thinking skills approach to this cross-curriculum project
  • Mohamed of Gashaka Storybook – Mohamed tells his own story of life in Gashaka and illustrates it with colour photographs. There are five copies of this A5 booklet for children to share for guided reading
  • Also includes a CD with PowerPoint presentations, templates and resources

A River Child has been thoroughly researched and shown to have very positive impacts on literacy, geographical understanding and student motivation.

Additional information

Weight .695 kg

About the Author

Sue Lyle has been a class teacher, teacher advisor and teacher educator for over a quarter of a century. She retired from full-time work as Head of Continuing Professional Development at Swansea Metropolitan University’s School of Education in 2010 to focus on research and training in Philosophy for Children (P4C), The Storytelling Curriculum and Action Research.

Sue’s research interests have focused on how children make meaning through talk, in particular the role of collaborative learning and P4C in children’s learning. As a SAPERE trainer she led a professional development project to train 1500 teachers and over 50 whole school staff in Philosophy for Children in South Wales.

She works closely with LEAs to provide professional development for teachers and strongly believes in Action and Practitioner Research as the key tool for promoting critical reflection and change. She trained 100 teachers over 5 years as Action Research Champions in partnership with Swansea LEA.

Sue has authored the popular cross curricular packs ‘Arctic Stories’ and ‘A River Child’ for Imaginative Minds and also produced an introduction to ‘Philosophy for Children’ called ‘A Journey Into Children’s Minds’ on DVD, looking at philosophy through the eyes of pupils at schools in Swansea and Cardiff.

Her current research is concerned with investigating the impact of P4C on children, teachers and schools and the impact of professional development on teachers. She is leading research on the Storytelling Curriculum as a creative approach to literacy development from 3-11 years old.



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