Skip to main content

A galaxy far, far away... EPISODE IV

Turn your most wayward apprentices from scruffy-lookin’ nerf herders into Jedi Masters with this creative writing and illustration workshop.
Creative writing workshop -- six sessions -- fiction

EPISODE IV: THE WRITING BEGINS (ONE STEP AT A TIME...)
*all spellings are the children's originals!

Before they were to start writing their drafts, I set the group some short writing tasks: one short piece describing the setting and two pieces to describe the main characters that appeared in their story. We watched the first twenty minutes of Episode VI and discussed the different features of the settings. What would it be like to be in the desert of Tatooine? What would you see there? What would the Death Star be like? What could you hear, smell, see? I wrote a short description as an example which included some model sentences. The children analysed it and then used it to help structure their own
descriptions. Here is one example for a story set in a junkyard....



This fiery place, full of destruction, was a swollen junkyard. The dusty land was covered with broken machinery. The sand dunes in the distance were high and it was scorching under the two suns. This was a place of battle.
Wizzing across the surface of the planet was the most brave and loyal hero in the whole universe: Luke Skywalker.

By Mohsen

We set this aside and followed it up with two character descriptions. Again, I wrote a model text to set the expectation and the children used it to write their own. This is where the vocabulary profile posters became valuable. The words were already there for the children to use leaving them to focus on the sentence structure, including getting to grips with a semi-colon! Here are two examples, one for Darth Vader and the other for bounty hunter, Boba Fett.



Standing in the middle of Jabba’s repulsive palace, with his straight faced Stormtroopers behind him, was the most grim, forbidding villain of the entire universe: Darth Vader. The abominable sith lord looked like an obsidian shadow. His monstrous black military armour hid his unforgettable wrinkly face; he is more machine than man. He holds his luminous lightsaber carefully in his metal hand. All who see him fall to there knees and beg for mercy. 
By Aman


Legendary and cunning, he started like as a clone but now he is one of a kind. His armour was strong and green; his wrist rocket and flame thrower are deadly. One shot is enough to blast you to pieces. He is not to be messed with for money.
By Nayshawn 


Now, although their descriptions were energetic and full-blooded,  I am really not suggesting this was easy! The children were eager to get started on writing the juicy action they had read in the graphic novels and they were a little frustrated with taking a step-by-step approach. “When are we going to write the stories!?” they demanded. “You’re already writing it, kid,” I wish Harrison Ford had been on hand to reply. But taking it slowly would pay it’s reward later on!

Next time... Drafting a story stars in EPISODE V: THE HIGHLIGHTERS STRIKE BACK 

Popular posts from this blog

Filthy wretch or poor thing? Rethinking the Island, KS2, Week 1

A treat for the final half term - a new workshop at a delightful school in Leeds! This half term I am working with two Year 5 teachers to develop a cross-year group, cross-curricular writing project based on my favourite picture book, Armin Greder's The Island . I've done this book many times and every time the response is different! This week, we got to grips with the facts, possibilities and mysteries of the story. What do we know about the story so far? (we only ever read up to page 6 to leave it on a knife edge...) What doesn't this story tell us and what could we infer or predict?     We looked at the crowd of islanders who 'welcome' the stranger's arrival. As in every class, country or community, no group ever sees the world the same way and we discussed how the islanders might react differently to the man. Is he a poor thing who needs to be rescued? Is he a curiosity? Is he a threat? We each adopted an islander and took on their perspective f

Creative writing based on Hokusai's The Great Wave

The Great Wave - Creative writing workshop, Year 6 Week 1: Vocabulary development Inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai's masterpiece The Great Wave , Year 6 are starting on a creative voyage to bring the iconic print to literary life! We spent some time poring over the features of painting: the spray, the wave, the boats and, well hidden, Mount Fuji. After reading an account of Ellen MacArthur's sailing voyages, we began to generate some cutting edge vocabulary to give our writing some sparkle. This was the process: Children labelled the features of the picture, including parts of the wave (crest, barrel, swell, lip) We chose personified verbs for the different features. 'Grabbing', 'scratching' and 'grasping' for the finger-like lip of the wave; 'screaming', 'slapping' and 'whistling' for the wind. The group selected similes for each of the features. The wind became 'a bellowing dragon', the boats w

ARTiculate Bulletin 28.9.15: Black Dog by Levi Pinfold, Book a free workshop.

This week's bulletin features creative ideas for Black Dog by Levi Pinfold. This spooky tale has lots of unnerving qualities: Victorian sepia photos, objects that seem to move around from picture to picture and , oh yeah, a huge slathering hound on the prowl. Perfect for murky autumnal weather. If you try any of the ideas I'd love to see the work your children produce. To request this in pdf format, please join the mailing list by clicking  here  and sending me your details. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Black Dog by Levi Pinfold -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The sinister, murky tone of this book is ideal for gloomy, autumnal weather.  Buried deep in the snowy forest, a large beast is prowling around the house giving the Hope family the scare of their lives. But all is not as it seems in this spooky tale. Is it really a really a giant beast or