The Room on the Broom - aquatic style.

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

How can a children's book become alive in the water ? How can it be a great tool to teach the fundamentals of swimming ?

The Room on the Broom - Julia Donaldson

My son is now 5 years old and we read a lot of books together and when we find a great book we read it over and over again as if it was the first time each time. Our imagination explodes.


As a swimming teacher (of 27 years) and a swim school owner (16 years) I am always thinking of creative ways to bring a swimming lesson alive so that my children (and parents) gain the best experience and remember the skills sets we are working on. The learning process becomes easier and more powerful. They are continuously moving because their focus is on the activities rather than the actual swimming skill


As an educator. I was a lecturer in further education, a High School teacher, and now home educating my son, I am intrigued and have done a lot of research about progressive and alternative ways of educating young children. My mission is to provide and develop my S.W.I.M programme to succeed in this form.

Our imaginations running wild!

Therefore the idea of bringing a book alive was from Charlotte Mason and her method of learning. Who is Charlotte Mason?


"The Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling uses rich literature and “living books” rather than textbooks or dumbed-down twaddle. Instead of worksheets or answering questions in the back of the book, this style asks the student to retell, or “narrate,” everything he can remember from the reading."


I thought that it would be fun to use the same concept about "narrating" and bringing the story alive in the water.


Props I used for my Live Story session.

The characters and props played a role in the right place whilst using my "Bones of it" lesson plan. We used:

  • Witches hats to have fun exploring the water,

  • We pretend to be frogs whilst practicing our breath control,

  • We used the clouds to swim through the rain

  • We had witch and dragon races and made a "Magical Spell" and they zoomed off on their Magnificent broom.

I was able to provide a multi-sensory approach with different textures, smells, sounds, and finding the book characters dotted around the pool.

"How it blew and how it rained...."

I used this idea for my Halloween themed lesson plan and it was a mighty success.


What books do you like and think could incorporate and bring a live in your swimming lessons? Comment below.


Can't find the time to create some purposeful play-based lessons? Look no further. Click here to see which lessons you would like from the ones I have already designed. All you need to do is print them off and take poolside with you.


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