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Make a Non-Fiction Book
Role-play workshop pack for children 7–11

England & Wales Y3–Y6
Scotland & Northern Ireland P4–P7

Workshop and pack created by children's non-fiction author John Malam
web:  www.johnmalam.co.uk        email:  john@johnmalam.co.uk       tel:  01606 863540 (Winsford)

Books made by children during this workshop

Make a non-fiction book

Make a non-fiction book

Make a non-fiction book

Make a non-fiction book

Workshop feedback

  • "I really appreciated the opportunity to observe the class working in the groups and to listen to their discussions. The nature of the workshop was unique, taking the children through the book making process."
    — Jo Callister, Tilston CE Primary School, nr Malpas, Cheshire
  • "Children are now aware of the technical aspects of producing a non-fiction book, which also widens their knowledge of the world of work."
    — Jacqueline O'Donnell,
    St Lucy's Primary School, Cumbernauld
  • "John's Make a Non-Fiction Book workshop is challenging and engaging. The carefully designed, differentiated tasks encourage teamwork, research skills and time management as well as improving children's literacy."
    — Steven Taylor, Director of Literacy, Accrington Academy

Who is John Malam?

  • Author of more than 200 books for children
  • Visitor to more than 400 schools
  • Specialist non-fiction author
  • National Literacy Trust Reading Champion, recognised for work with boys to create a reading culture
  • Motivational school visitor – as a children's non-fiction author my visit is very different from a fiction author or a poet
  • Experienced at working with SEN, MLD and G&T
  • Former Managing Editor for a leading children's publisher
  • CRB checked; £10million Public Liability cover for school visits

Book John now for an author visit

Children's Book Week 2013
7th – 14th October

National Non-Fiction Day 2013
7th November

World Book Day 2014
Thursday 6th March

Where will John visit?

  • I live in Cheshire, and most of my day visits are in the North West, Midlands, West Yorkshire and North Wales
  • I'm happy to visit other areas, but overnight stays might be needed
  • I've visited schools from Aberdeen to Guernsey, Anglesey to Ramsgate (they're all marked on a map in the School Visits section of my website)

What does a visit cost?

  • £350 per day
  • 45p per mile travel cost (own vehicle), or actual cost if travelling by train
  • Accommodation cost if overnight stay needed

And finally ...

  • "I was having so much fun, I didn't realise I was learning anything, but I was."
    — Comment from a Y6 child
  • "You are the best visiting author we have ever had. It's like you are chocolate up against fruit."
    — Comment from a Y6 child


Dear Headteacher and Literacy Co-ordinator,

Do you want to raise the profile of non-fiction in your school? Would you like a book-related activity for Children's Book Week, National Non-Fiction Day or World Book Day? This unique role-play workshop offers this – and more.

For many years I have presented a role-play workshop in UK schools in which children work in teams to create their own non-fiction books. It's one of my most popular sessions on a school visit. Schools have asked if the workshop is available for staff to deliver in their own time – and now it is.

The role-play workshop is available as a pack for schools. A key feature is the importance of teamwork as the activities lead children on the journey of creating their own non-fiction books.

I hope this is of interest, and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Best wishes,

John Malam

PS: Please get in touch if you are interested in booking me for a school visit – sessions available for Reception, KS1 and KS2.

What is the 'Make a Non-Fiction Book Workshop'?

Pack contentsThe workshop uses role-play to encourage children to work as part of a creative team. Each team has four children, acting out the roles of Author, Editor, Illustrator and Designer as they complete a series of activities to create a non-fiction book with 16 pages.

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop is for KS2 children, Y3 to Y6 (England and Wales);
P4 to P7 (Scotland and Northern Ireland).

How many can take part?

The workshop is supplied with materials for up to 40 children, working in 10 teams of 4. You can deliver it as one big workshop for all 40, or as several smaller workshops with fewer children.

How long does the workshop last?

  • A minimum of three hours – and this would be at a fast pace for able or older children.
  • For a slower pace allow more time – two morning sessions, two afternoon sessions: you can decide.
  • Alternatively, you could present it over the course of several days, broken down into smaller sessions.

How do schools deliver the workshop?

The workshop comes as a ready-to-use pack of:

  • x10 activity worksheets (size B2 – 70cm x 50cm)
  • x16 non-fiction topic cards
  • x1 16-page Teacher's Guide
Make a non-fiction book

Using the Teacher's Guide you take the children through each step in the journey of creating an illustrated non-fiction book, from the initial idea to the printed page. The workshop imitates the real-life publishing process of book creation. All the work the children do – with the exception of an optional writing activity – happens on the worksheet.

Why use such a big sheet?

Non-fiction books are printed on large sheets many times the size of the finished pages. For example, a 32-page non-fiction book is made from just 2 sheets of paper. The worksheet uses exactly the same principle – one sheet to create a 16-page book.

What are the workshop activities?

  • Choosing a non-fiction topic
  • Choosing a book title for the topic
  • Researching the topic
  • Planning the book's chapters
  • Writing chapter 1 (optional non-fiction writing activity)
  • Editing the text
  • Designing the front cover
  • Illustrating the front cover
  • Proofreading the text
  • Publicity (marketing the book)
  • Blurb writing
  • Printing the book
  • Compiling the contents and index
  • Scheduling (is there enough time to create the book?)
  • Selling the book
  • Feedback (what have the children learned?)

Pricing, ordering, guarantee

  • x1 pack = £99 (for 40 children)
  • x2 packs = £169 (for 80 children)
  • x3 packs = £239 (for 120 children)
  • x3+ packs = £239 + £75 per additional pack
  • P&P = no charge


To place an order, please email or phone.


Money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with the workshop!

Need to know more?

If there's anything else you'd like to know, just ask.

Book me for a school visit

If you are interested in booking me for a school visit, please see my website for my range of sessions for Reception, KS1 and KS2 – talks, readings, writing workshops, role-play workshop, and more.

John Malam photo

Email: john@johnmalam.co.uk

Tel: 01606 863540
(Winsford, Cheshire)

Website: www.johnmalam.co.uk

Bookings diary:
The School Visits section of my website has my bookings diary – please check it to see which days I am available to visit you.

John Malam
Children's Non-Fiction Author
School Visitor | Reading Champion
4 Woodlark Close
Cheshire CW7 3HL








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