Our top five Scots learning resources for Burns Night

Author Matthew Fitt appearing in an Authors Live event

As an educator, it took me a couple of probing conversations to appreciate the value and impact of getting pupils to read and write in Scots. I've no shame in admitting I wasn't on board straight away, but I benefitted hugely from chatting to people like Education Scotland's Scots Language team (Diane Anderson's blog post outlining the reasons to teach Scots is still something I go back to time and again).

Ahead of Burns Night, here are a selection of the Scots resources on our site to help you mark the occasion and introduce Scots projects in your classroom or library.

Pupils at Matthew Fitt's Authors Live event - photo by Alan Peebles
Authors Live event  - Dahl in Scots with Matthew Fitt

Our Authors Live events are all recorded and made available to watch on demand. This event with Scots author Matthew Fitt was watched by over 25,000 children nationwide, and it introduces Matthew's translations of some of Roald Dahl's best loved books. We also commissioned teacher and Scots Language Co-ordinator Bruce Eunson to write a special learning resource to help you introduce Dahl in Scots to your pupils - as with all of our Authors Live events, you'll find a link to the supporting resource on the right hand side of the video page.

National 5 and Higher Scottish texts resources

Sunset Song is a hugely fertile ground for discussion of the Scots language, particularly given Lewis Grassic Gibbon's pioneering approach to making Scots accessible in the text. Anne Donovan's beautiful use of Scots in Hieroglyphics and James Robertson's Scots chapters in The Testament of Gideon Mack also bring the language to life in a vivid way. These resources give creative activity suggestions to help pupils really engage in a meaningful way with these classic titles.

Liz Lochhead with a teenage pupil - image by Chris James
Authors Live event - celebrating Burns with Liz Lochhead

In this event, the former Scots Makar shares her love of Burns' poetry and the Scots language, and it's supported by an excellent learning resource written by teacher Carol Magee which helps pupils compare and contrast Burns' and Lochhead's work. Again, you'll find the resource on the right hand side of the video page.

Scots in Schools blog posts

We've got a wide selection of posts written on the subject of Scots in classrooms and libraries. Giving reading and writing activity ideas for all ages, these posts are ideal for teachers approaching Scots for the first time, and are written mainly by the members of Education Scotland's Scots Language team. Katrina Lucas, Diane Anderson and Simon Hall are now back in their teaching posts, but their excellent work on projects like the Scots ambassadors, online Scots resources and extensive training across Scotland has created a fine legacy.

Scots book lists

We also have a great selection of book lists for all ages. Featuring a wide range of Scots dialects, these lists will provide you and your pupils with plenty of fun material to read aloud or take home and enjoy.

Check out all of our Scots resources to pick up some ideas and inspiration for Burns night and beyond!