World Creative Writing Month is back for another year starting on March 1st. This exciting competition challenges children to write as many stories as possible throughout the month. The very best writing is showcased each week with prizes up for grabs! How does it work? Any child or class team with a Night Zookeeper account can take part in the competition. Simply, challenge your children and students to write as many creative stories, poems, and reports throughout March and their […]
In partnership with Chessington World of Adventures we’re offering their ROARsome followers up to 52% off annual subscriptions to the Night Zookeeper creative writing platform to keep their children busy and learning during lockdown! Plus, they get a free 7-day trial! ROARsome!
Does your child LOVE using Night Zookeeper? Are they really engaged with the platform? ✨Superfans are children (and parents) who are enthusiastic about Night Zookeeper and want to get the word out! Superfans are a community of children and parents who love Night Zookeeper! Superfans receive nice perks such as free merchandise and sometimes early access to new features. Awesome!
Studies have found that lockdown inspired a resurgence of children turning to creative writing, but also that this resurgence has provided a pivotal role in children’s wellbeing.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia are common learning difficulties experienced by children. It can be incredibly tough to find a program that not only helps encourage a child to love creative writing who struggles with either of these difficulties, but also one that allows them to actually flourish as creative writers! So, the main question is how can we help someone with dysgraphia or dyslexia with their writing so that they can grow to love it? There are plenty of online learning games and options for dyslexia and dysgraphia that can help your child.
In partnership with IMM’s Care to Create and printed.com, we set out a very special Star Writing Challenge.
For this Star Writing Challenge, we asked our young writers to create a short rhyming poem about staying positive and spreading love and hope. We also wanted them to create a piece of artwork relating to positivity and spreading love and hope. The winners of this challenge had the chance to have their poems and drawings featured across different hospitals and care homes to help make Key Workers’ and patients’ lives happier.
If your children are stuck staying at home this summer, you can offer these writing prompts as a fun off-screen activity. Please also feel free to have your child write about these writing prompts in the free-write section of their Night Zookeeper accounts. If your child doesn’t have an account yet, you can sign up here.
In partnership with IMM’s Care to Create, we asked children to write a letter to a Key Worker, thanking them for all the wonderful things that they do for other people. Their letter had the chance to be shared with different Key Workers across hospitals, care facilities, police stations, transport companies, as well as our social channels!
In honour of World Book Day on March 5th, we’re running a competition across our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. One lucky winner will receive a FREE set of all four Night Zookeeper books in the series.
Whether you’re interested in getting your child to read or write poetry, there are numerous benefits to introducing this form of writing to them. Poetry will be all around them, be it in famous children’s books they will encounter or simply through the songs they hear on the radio.
We’re reprinting our first book “Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood”. We decided our reprint would be the perfect opportunity to feature some new writing from our Night Zookeeper Writers on platform! We set out a Star Writing Challenge…
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve launched some awesome new features to help children that are still developing their reading and writing skills. New writing prompts! Ask children to visit the WRITE button on their menu. We’ve added a whole series of writing prompts for children to work on! Each prompt comes complete with writing support. We provide children with help in structuring the beginning of their story. We also provide children with punctuation support throughout this process. Once children […]
Night Zookeeper, the fun creativity website, SKY TV animated series, and popular chapter books; will be hosting a free magical interactive experience at Chessington World of Adventures Resort in February half term (February 15-23).
We have an exciting new feature to share with you! We now have thousands of curriculum linked interactive challenges available on the Night Zookeeper platform! These challenges cover all required learning for ages 5-12+.
Nightzookeeper.com was designed to inspire a love of reading and writing in children, while at the same time helping to develop their creative thinking skills, as well as genuinely improving the quality of their writing. Here are ten awesome ways nightzookeeper.com could do this for your child! 1. Creating A Magical Animal As a Night Zookeeper, one of your child’s most important tasks is create their own animals to live in the Night Zoo! This is the perfect chance for them […]
2020 marks a lot of new beginnings, which might be difficult for children to understand. It marks the start of a new year but also, even a new decade! We thought it would be fun to serve up some fresh new writing prompts to help your children better understand what all the buzz about a new year is about. What better character to deliver these prompts, but Maji the Time Travelling Elephant? She knows a lot about new years!
Whether your child is naturally creative, or not quite there yet, there are ways in which you can raise them to be the most creative version of themselves. By consciously providing them with the right influences, materials and environment, you can help their inner writer and artist blossom.
Happy New Year! 🎉 We’ve been working really hard all year and wanted to share all of the things we’ve been up to in 2019.
This has been full of magic and great memories. It has been such a transformative that rather than simply listing out all of our adventures, we are breaking with tradition, and have instead produced a beautiful infographic.
When writing feels like a task and a challenge, often event the idea of it can cause reluctant writers to shy away. We’ve found that making writing fun is often the key to making writing stick. If you have a reluctant writer, or perhaps are just looking for fun new ways to engage your child with writing, keep reading! We’ve compiled a list of nine fun ways to practice English writing with your children. Many of these are alternative ways to get children to have fun (and be comfortable) with the idea of writing.
Throughout November, children were challenged to write a report, a story and a poem for The International Writing Cup – 2019! The 10 winners will be sent a Night Zookeeper T-Shirt.
We’ve compiled a list of fun word games for improving literacy, language skills and enthusiasm for writing.
We recently set a really exciting Star Writing Challenge. To celebrate the launch of the brand new Night Zoo map, we challenged our young writers to invent a new location for the Night Zoo. To take part, they needed to create a new map location, draw a picture of it and write a short story set in this area of the zoo. This new location will then be added to the brand new Night Zoo map.
Let’s face it. Some children are natural born storytellers with creativity and imagination spilling from their fingers. For them, exploring creative writing is just the beginning of a beautiful journey. However, for some children, getting them to want to write is a tedious and stressful task. While writing might not come naturally to every child, this does not mean that your child can’t eventually learn to really love creative writing! This blog explores how to encourage your child to want […]
These prompts are designed to spark creativity and imagination within children. We encourage children to think about what they like about the season fall, but also ask them to create characters that would fit within a ‘fall environment’. Other writing ideas encourage the child to write about a memory they have about fall or an opinion they might have about it.
Explore reasons to encourage your kids to love creative writing. The skills gained from creative writing ultimately contribute to language mastery. Increase their creativity, imagination, self-esteem and confidence today!
We’re excited to launch a ‘Writing Mentors’ scheme with Colt Technology Services (the same company that has kindly sponsored access for selected classes in the UK). How does it work? Each month, we’ll send class blogs to volunteers at Colt. They will spend designated time leaving helpful, encouraging comments on writing produced by your students. You will need to publish writing regularly this term in order to take part. *Do you want your class to take part? Simply complete this 3-question survey and […]
We’ve been working incredibly hard this summer to develop a new feature that will save teachers hours of marking and grading time this year. Our new automatic feedback tool analyses all writing produced by students and then picks out a few suggested improvements for them to make. Teachers can review the comment, add or edit anything they wish, before sending it directly to the student. You can see it in action by playing the short screen recording below: Fast, effective […]
In September 2018 Colt Technology Services partnered with Night Zookeeper to sponsor annual licenses to the nightzookeeper.com platform so that classrooms all across the UK could benefit from our literacy program. The impact has been immense with more students than ever in the UK being able to access the Night Zookeeper literacy platform, which is proven to improve the reading and writing skills of primary-age children. Schools who have enrolled in the program through Colt Technology Services sponsorship have: Given […]
Night Zookeeper co-founder Paul Hutson, details all the ways you can get your child to love writing.
Starting in September 2019, we will be embarking on an exciting US Tour, aiming to visit as many schools as possible in three months!!! We would love to kickstart writing in your school this year by providing FREE creative writing workshops using nightzookeeper.com! The workshop will involve: A special story-telling workshop with a member of the Night Zookeeper team Unique activities and experiences designed to get your most reluctant learners engaged in creative writing We’ll also include: A special training […]
Night Zookeeper is the basis for a literacy platform that inspires children to draw, write and think creatively. Our belief is that too much of the content children consume, leaves little or no room for their own imagination and that in homes and schools, creativity is falling further and further down the list of priorities. We designed Night Zookeeper to remedy this, by enabling teachers and parents to deliver curriculum-based skills in a way that also engages children creatively. Night […]
We’re excited to announce we’ve added new learning games to nightzookeeper.com! The foundation of all great writers is their broad and rich vocabulary. Our new games help children to learn thousands of new words through exciting, personalised activities and games, that feature the animals they create! Here’s a taster of the some of the games children using nightzookeeper.com can look forward to! Word Hunt: Take your animal along with you through the Endless Ocean in a submarine, collecting adjectives as you […]
We are thrilled to be working with Picturehouse on a series of family friendly workshops. Upcoming Dates Cinema City Picturehouse, Norwich on Sat 27th April at 10.30am and 2pm Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool on Sat 4th May at 10.30am and 1.30pm Families will get to meet the creative team behind The Night Zookeeper, watch a special screening of the first episodes, and through a mix of storytelling, drawing and creative writing, be helped to tap into their imaginations to come […]
We’re very excited to announce that we are able to offer 140 schools the chance to use Night Zookeeper for the year, free of charge. This fantastic opportunity has been made possible by sponsorship from COLT Technology Services, who provide network and voice services to Europe, North America and Asia. We hope that this will enable more children to develop a love for learning and develop their literacy skills, especially those for whom it may not have been possible before. […]
We’re excited to tell you about a new features that have just been added to nightzookeeper.com! Students and teachers can now upload writing and pictures to nightzookeeper.com. From the ‘create’ button at the top of the menu, students just need to press ‘upload’ and either take a picture of their writing, or add the picture via the photo gallery, or a file if using a computer. Teachers can now also add pictures of writing easily by clicking on the student, […]
We were very excited to attend a very special screening of the animated Night Zookeeper series at the BAFTA Theatre in London on Saturday March 16th. At a packed-out event, children were able to watch the first four episodes of the Night Zookeeper TV series currently showing on Sky Kids and Now TV. They also got to listen to the creators, animators and voice actors talk about how the series was made, and learn how the Night Zookeeper team collaborated […]
The Night Zookeeper team are visiting schools all over the UK gathering fantastic ideas for the new animated series on Sky TV! We’ve been delivering story-telling assemblies and creative workshops to get students producing fantastic scripts, amazing characters, and awesome sound FX that could be featured in future episodes of the Night Zookeeper animated series on Sky TV. During the visits, students get to work on our website show.nightzookeeper.com, completing hundreds of different writing and drawing challenges that can inspire […]
We’re excited to be attending Bett 2019 at the ExCel London from January 23rd to 26th! Come visit our stand to get a special free trial of our website nightzookeeper.com, an educational platform that is proven to raise the writing attainment of primary school students. You’ll also hear about how your students can take part in our new animated series with Sky Kids! Finally, we’ll be giving away free Story-telling card games for teachers who post a picture of our stand on Twitter […]
We recently had great fun with a group children from St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School in Mortlake when we joined them on a visit to a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning animation studio where they became animators for the day and saw their drawn creations come to life. Visiting the Karrot Animation studios in South East London, the children were taking part in a world-first that is enabling UK school children to feed their ideas directly in to a new […]
We are very excited to announce that our free website and teacher/parent guide for the new animated Night Zookeeper TV series is now live! Teachers and parents can give their children the chance to see their creations come to life in an animated series simply by completing creative challenges on the website. How to get involved: 1. Visit show.nightzookeeper.com 2. Click the register button on the homepage. 3. Choose the correct account profile. 4. Click to register with your existing […]
The team here at Night Zookeeper is delighted to be giving primary school children across the UK a unique opportunity to use a new (and free!) website to create characters for a soon-to-launch animated TV series in a world first. Of course, Night Zookeeper is already well-known to school children aged seven and above as an award-winning digital platform that encourages literacy and writing, but soon it’ll also be an animated series on Sky Kids! Since making the initial announcement […]
We make sure students are able to easily join in with a variety of engaging writing challenges, competitions and resources throughout the year. If you are interested in gamified learning, edtech, creative writing and inspiring confidence and a love of reading in your primary-aged students, check out our calendar of events below. January: Story Relay Classes across the world work together to write an original Night Zookeeper story over the course of the month! March: World Creative Writing Month Each […]
We’re extremely lucky to work with some of the most amazing teachers in the world, as the Night Zookeeper community continues to grow every day! Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Colt Technology, we have been able to work with a new network of schools who perhaps would have been unable to introduce their students to the wonderful world of the Night Zoo. It can be very frustrating as a teacher with a lack of resources available, however, this week […]
Editing and making improvements in writing is a key focus within Literacy teaching at the moment. It is one of the most important stages of the writing process, however, it is also the trickiest to do well. Children can find it very difficult to revise and edit their writing. This is often for a number of reasons: One could be that they have worked hard on their piece of writing: a story or report for example, and are very proud […]
Sky Kids commissions ‘Night Zookeeper’ to nurture the next generation of story tellers and support classroom creativity Sky Kids has commissioned 10 episodes of animated series Night Zookeeper for 2019. Night Zookeeper, created by Wonky Star, is a UK-based children’s brand, which has grown organically over the last six years from a primary teaching resource. Their website, nightzookeeper.com, is used in thousands of schools across the world to inspire children to invent their own magical animals, and then write stories […]
How many times have you visited another school and felt completely inspired and excited to try new things out in your own classroom? Would you believe us if we said that you could have that feeling of rejuvenation without even leaving your desk? This is the power of blogging. Creating a blog is a chance to widen your teaching space and push your reach beyond the classroom door. It is a great way of sharing students’ work and develop skills […]
Our community of Night Zookeeper teachers are some of the most awesome people around! Follow some of our official Night Zookeeper Teacher Ambassadors below to see how they are using Night Zookeeper and developing a love of writing in their class. Feel free to ask them questions about how to make the most of the website with your students! Melisa Hayes, 2nd Grade Teacher @hayes_melisa Amy Murch, 4th Grade Teacher @TeamMurch4 Melissa Henderson, 2nd Grade Teacher @giftedgem Alex Ennis, 6th Grade Teacher @Mrs_Ennis_OMS Sara, […]
Calling all aspiring writers – the latest Star Writing Challenge is up today! We would like your students to write a 1000 word story about their own adventure in the Night Zoo. Once they step through the magical gates, where will they go and who will they meet? The authors of every 1000 word story will receive a pack of exclusive Night Zookeeper cards! We want to encourage children of all ages to write, so every child who reaches 500 […]
Assessing students’ writing isn’t always the most enjoyable of tasks for teachers; hours spent scouring writing searching for adjectives and commas used in the right places. That’s where ‘Reports’ comes in; one of the new features on Night Zookeeper that we are really excited about. This tool is readily available from your Classroom Dashboard and provides you with data on what your students are including in their writing. Our report system analyses all the writing your students produce on nightzookeeper.com, […]
We’ve launched an exciting new initiative, which enables teachers to book live writing lessons with the Night Zookeeper via video chat. An experienced Night Zookeeper educator is ready and waiting to connect with your class via Google Hangouts, Skype, or any other live video software that you use in school. How does it work? Once you’ve booked an appropriate date and time, you will then be connected to the member of the Night Zookeeper team that will deliver your session. […]
We’ve created a feature this summer to gamify the process of keeping a reading record. We think this will have a huge impact on student motivation levels as they are rewarded in their Night Zoo account for the amount of reading they are doing ‘offline’. Here are just a few reasons why we’re so excited about the impact of Reading Light: Increased motivation We have seen through early testing of Reading Light that it can inspire students to read more […]
With the launch of nightzookeeper.com 2.0 we added our newest feature, short writing challenges, which are perfect for independent learning. These new writing challenges are all focused on helping to improve the spelling, grammar and vocabulary of students. They are all automatically assessed by our smart algorithm, so you don’t have to moderate any of the writing that students produce. You can simply check in on their performance on your dashboard results table. As students grow their Night Zoo they […]
We are very excited about a new project that will be starting September 3rd, organised by Sean Forde, a Technology Teacher at Chadwick International School in Korea. Utilising Flipgrid, classes from around the world will take part in the creation of a specially produced Night Zookeeper theater performance! The finished product will be a Night Zookeeper play, where the actors and scenes are recorded from all over the world. We have prepared some special Night Zookeeper masks for students to wear […]
We are pleased to report a partnership with the Japanese NPO, YouMeWE. Thanks to this fantastic organisation, Night Zookeeper is now being used by children’s homes in Japan, charity schools in the Philippines, and by children from Syria, in refugees camps. YouMeWe is an NPO based in Japan and focused primarily on the plight of over 30,000 children living in orphanages and children’s homes. Night Zookeeper has provided YouMeWe with free access to NightZookeeper.com for the children that they […]
We’re really excited to be attending ISTE conference in Chicago this year. I’m writing this post at the end of day 1 at the conference and we have had an awesome day and met some incredible educators and colleagues! Here are a few of our highlights from our first day… Highlights from Day 1 1. We took part in an excellent PLN session and met some wonderful people from the Digital Storytelling Network, Librarians Network, EdTech Coaches Network, amongst many […]
Gamification is becoming a more and more popular way for teachers to engage and teach students in areas where they may sometimes struggle. Although gamification of the classroom doesn’t neccesarily need tablets, computers etc, this article discusses 3 different websites/apps that use gamification as a tool to engage students and how they can be used in class. We talked to elementary school teacher Sheri Capper about her top 3 gamification ideas to improve literacy skills. (As a Night Zookeeper super […]
Summer is the perfect time for children to explore, go on adventures, and relax away from school. However the holidays are long and children can often forget many of the things they have learned over the course of the year. Though not advocating children to sit down and study, many education experts recommend that exercising the brain lightly over the summer will mean children are much more ready to push on when they get back to school. Children often write […]
We love creative writing at Night Zookeeper. In fact, we love it so much we made an entire website to inspire children to produce creative writing! But sometimes a teacher just needs some exciting prompts to get their student’s imaginations flowing and writing. That’s why we have made this list of 25 creative writing prompts that will get your children inspired and writing in no time! Please check out the list below and try them with your students! You find […]
Alongside schools and districts, nightzookeeper.com is increasingly being used by homeschooling parents around the world. Shelly, a homeschooling mother of 7 and 9 year old writes: “As a home educating mom it is a time-saving resource, they can log on and there are lessons already there for the kids. As soon as I suggest the website both kids are happy.” Shelly continues, “The lessons that we have tried have been perfect. Grammar lessons have been to the point with examples […]
Yes of course! You might expect us to say that, as the creators of nightzookeeper.com, a website that uses elements of gamification to inspire and motivate children to write. However, we realise that there needs to be a good balance as too much gamification can distort the goals of writing and take the emphasis away from the excitement of writing itself, and cause the student to become focused on the reward, rather than the content. It’s important that gamification isn’t […]
Langham Primary School has been using the digital writing website nightzookeeper.com, for the past three years, with some amazing results. “22% of the students made a year’s worth of progress in just one term. One child made incredible progress during that term – 6 points!” Emma Cotton, Class 3 teacher, gives her feedback on the impact of using nightzookeeper.com in the classroom. “I had heard about Night Zookeeper at the Norfolk ICT Conference a few years ago and thought it […]
Take a look at our Parent Guide for information on how to get started. We’ve also listed steps for you below: How to get your children started Visit nightzookeeper.com and click the “Child Login” button. Next click register and enter the usernames you have given. They can then create their own password. Try and make sure the password is easy to remember for the child. The Tutorial Next children will get to create their own unique Night Zookeeper avatar. This […]
Having created a digital writing platform that makes writing fun for kids, but crucially, uses the internet to connect their work with classes around the world, we understand the importance of e-safety for students at school. Using the internet can connect your class around the world, grow the audience for your student’s work, and help your students to develop into global-minded citizens but it is an area where students should also take care. Below we have listed our top five […]
Welcome to the wonderful world of Night Zookeeper. This blog post has been written to help you get to grips with nightzookeeper.com and give you support throughout your 14-day trial. The perfect 14-day trial! Day 1: Download and print your student invitations (15 mins) These are emailed to your inbox upon registering. You can also download them from your class account page within your settings. They provide very clear instructions to help students get registered on the website, which they […]
We’re working on lots of exciting updates to our website at the moment. Here is a summary of what to expect during the next couple of months: New Menu Page – Launching March 2018 We’re launching a new student menu so that, students can navigate around the website easier than ever before. This page will be full of new activities that will regularly update every month! There will always be something new for your students to write about all year round! […]
I’ve been working on nightzookeeper.com for over five years now and I have visited hundreds of primary and elementary schools during that period, to work with teachers in a variety of settings. This experience has given me an insight into lots of different approaches schools have taken when adopting technology in their schools and classrooms. These five approaches tend to be the most popular, in no particular order: A desktop computer room which is booked on an hourly basis Interactive […]
We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the EdTech50, out of 600 overall applications. The EdTech50 awards recognise products and projects that demonstrate impactful and effective use of Edtech in the UK. The EdTech50 is also a celebration of individuals who have played a key role in developing this area of work. Night Zookeeper Paul was nominated, and went along to the reception event by Jisc and EdTeck UK at the House of Lords last week. Education […]
We are constantly working to improve the experience on nightzookeeper.com for both teachers and students. Throughout the next couple of months, we will be updating the website with some very exciting new features. One of these will be a whole new awards system. The new system will track student achievement across the website. It will clearly show the upcoming tasks that children can complete to achieve a new badge. We will be launching the feature with over 100 awards across […]