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9 Apr 2020

Morton Schools Project – Literacy (ages 5–8)

Written by Lily Barnes – Morton Photography Project Documentation and Digitisation Officer
A black and white photograph of a young man standing and holding three eggs in his hand. He wears a tweed cap pulled down to obscure his face, and he is smoking a pipe.
© National Trust for Scotland, Canna House
These activities have been developed in line with the experiences and outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence, and are intended to enrich and support resources and lessons provided by schools.

We suggest that these activities would be most suitable for pupils aged 5–8, but please feel free to explore all the articles in this series. You can find them by searching for Morton Schools Project.

The times suggested beside each activity are intended to be a guideline; you’re welcome to spend as much time on each activity as you like.

(5–15 minutes)

Choose one of the photographs at the top of this page. Write down some of the things you can see in the photograph.

Pick one of the words you have written down. Draw a spider diagram with this word at the centre. Around the word, write down all the words you can think of that rhyme with it. For example, if you had written ‘cat’ at the centre of your spider diagram, you could write mat, sat and pat around it. See if you can think of four or more!

If the word you have picked is too easy, too hard, or if you just want another try, create a second spider diagram for another of the things you can see in your chosen photograph.


(5–15 minutes)

Pick something else you can see in your photograph. Draw a spider diagram with this word at the centre. Around the word, write down all the words you can think of that:

  • Begin with the same letter as your chosen word. For example, if you had written ‘fish’ at the centre of your diagram, you could add the word ‘flip’.
  • Begin or end with the same sound as your chosen word. For example, if you had written ‘fish’ at the centre of your diagram, you could add the word ‘mash’.
  • Have a vowel sound in them that matches your chosen word. For example, if you had written ‘fish’ at the centre of your diagram, you could add in the word ‘stick’.

(30–60+ minutes)

Write a poem about your chosen photograph using the words from your spider diagrams to help you. This can be any kind of poem you like, and it doesn’t have to rhyme if you don’t want it to.

Once you’re done, practise reading your poem out loud. If you want to, you could phone a friend or a family member who lives in a different house and read it to them. Remember, make sure you stay in your own house!


We’d love to see what you come up with! Feel free to send them to us at @NTSCollections on Twitter or @nationaltrustforscotland on Instagram.

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