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Watch the video with your pupils to introduce them to A Wander In The Woods: https://youtu.be/wasjQAcXZQg
Next, play this game to help generate ideas to write about...
- Give pupils a word that’s on the wander in the woods theme, such as tree, fox, stream, camping etc
- Now ask a pupil to give you a word that’s associated with your word. (E.g. if you said tree, they might say leaf)
- The next player, in clockwise order, has to quickly say a word that has some connection with the previous word and so on
It’s a fun way to generate ideas on the theme. If any words mentioned stand out to you – make a note and discuss them with the class. Once you have finished playing the word association game, ask your pupils to write down an idea to write about.
Can your pupils name any woodland creatures? E.g.
Dwarves, elves, giants, gnomes, gremlins, fairies, werewolves, centaurs, trolls and dragons...
Pick a woodland creature and help your pupils generate ideas on what the creature could be doing:
- On a quest to find an item
- Hiding from humans
- Helping nature
- Protecting treasure
- A guardian of woodland royalty
Encourage your pupils to be original! Once you have several ideas, discuss as a class which one you’ll write a class mini saga about. This will help your pupils understand the format of a mini saga and assist with generating ideas and planning too!
Sitting around a campfire telling stories is an old tradition and one that can inspire original mini sagas! The ghost story is a campfire classic but why not encourage your pupils to get creative...
• What if a magical creature joined the camping trip?
• What if someone had an incredible invention that made their tent amazing?
• What if a wild animal came into camp?
• What if someone played a trick on other campmates?
• What if pupils wrote about how they felt sitting by the campfire surrounded by nature?
• What if pupils explored folklore tales such as how the bear lost his tail and created their own mini saga version?
• What if they followed a shooting star?
• What if they discovered treasure?
Campfire stories can be creepy, funny, shared memories or fictional but they are always entertaining!
Can your pupils tell you any books with forests or woods in?
Don’t worry if not, here are a few:
• The Enchanted Woods (The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton)
• The Forbidden Forest (Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling)
• Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne)
• Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis)
• Farthing Wood (The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann)
Your pupils can pick one of these, a real life wood or one from a book they love to inspire them.
Now ask them to close their eyes and imagine they are walking into those woods. Imagine using their senses, what can they see, hear, feel, touch and smell? Ask them to write down some notes. Share their ideas and then encourage them to start writing their wander in the woods inspired mini sagas!
Ask your pupils... what is winter in the forest like? What does it make you think of?
Here are some ideas...
• Your pupils could discover a snowman’s ball!
• Santa could land in the woods and need help...
• What if they found a house in the woods?
• They could imagine being an animal in the woods in wintertime
• Your pupils could write from the point of view of a tree or a robin etc
• How would they spend a snowy day?
• What if they discovered magical winter creatures?