The Room on the Broom aquatic style.

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 must read over and over again 100 times and enjoy them as if it was the first time each time. We get immersed and our imaginations would explode.


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) are gaining the best experience but they remember the skills sets that we work through even better. The learning process becomes easier and more powerful. The children are buzzing throughout the lessons and they are non stop moving because their focus is on something different throughout.


I am an educator through and through. I was a lecturer in further education (colleges 14 -18 year olds) and a High School teacher for years, and now I am home educating my son. I am intrigued and have done a lot of research and reading/watching content about progressive and alternative ways of educating young children. I am slightly obsessed with child development and have watched endless webinars and attended many summits on ways in which children thrive and flourish when in a positive and adaptable environment. 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 the witches hats to have fun exploring the water, we pretending to be frogs and practice our breath control, we used the clouds to swim through the rain when it came to that point in the book. We had witch and dragon races and made a "Magical Spell" & they zoomed off on their Magnificent broom.


I was able to provide a multi-sensory approach with different textures, smells, sounds, and enjoy finding all the 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.


Just can't find the time to creative some purposeful play-based lessons, look no further. Click here to see which lessons you would like from the 30 I have already designed. All you need to do is print off (some have printable - like this lesson did which you follow instructions on them) and take poolside with you.


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