Integrate 'speaking and listening', 'reading' and 'writing'
Use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences
Learn the structure of a story using interactive resources
Use knowledge to plan, draft and compse their own short story for our Let's Get Writing competition
Prepare the interactive slide show for use during the lesson (can be downloaded at: www.youngwriters.co.uk/primary-school-competitions.php)
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The idea of this lesson plan is to teach pupils about the structure of a story and how to compose their own. This lesson plan encourages and promotes creativity, imagination and expression. Hand out a copy of the planning/ sheet entry form to each pupil. Explain that today pupils will be writing their own story (slide 1).
Ask your pupils to tell you their favourite stories. Pick one of their suggestions (or use one of your own) and write this on the board. Ask pupils to tell you in as few words as possible what happens in the story – explain this is the plot, a summary of what the story is about. Now explain the setting is where the story happens, characters are who the story is about and objects are things used in the story. Ask pupils to identify the setting, characters and objects used in the story you have chosen. Next ask pupils to summarise what happens at the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.
Explain a story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and without one of these a story won’t work, ensure pupils understand this. You can highlight this to pupils by missing out the middle or the end of your story example to show it doesn’t make sense.
Hand out the planning sheet to each pupil. Explain that next they will be discussing ideas as a class for their individual stories.
Firstly, show slide 3 – (Settings). Ask pupils where their story will be set; discuss the suggestions on the slide and ask pupils to suggest their own ideas. Ask pupils to write down their setting on their planning sheet.
Next show slide 4 (Character). Ask pupils who will be in their story. They can include themselves, their friends, heroes or make-believe characters – anything that inspires them! Ask for their ideas and suggest that they only use a couple of characters in their story so it doesn’t get too complicated. Ask pupils to write their characters on their planning sheet.
Next show slide 5 (Object). This is going to be a key ingredient in the story. Ask pupils what object they want to have in their story. Ask them to think why – will something happen to it – will it get lost / stolen / broken? Why would someone else want the object? Is it magic or worth lots of money? Is it a good object or bad? Ask pupils to pick their object and write it on the planning sheet.
Next show slide 6 (Beginning). Recap, this is how the story starts; ask pupils for their suggestions on how their story could start and discuss the suggestions on the slide. Remind pupils to consider where their story is set when picking an opening line, – if their setting is under the sea and their story starts, ‘The street was empty’, it’s not going to make sense! Ask pupils to write down their beginning on their planning sheet.
Next show slide 7 (Middle). Remind pupils that the middle of the story is where something happens, so by this point the scene has been set and we have met the character(s). Now we need to know what happens next – do they have the object with them? Or are they looking for it? Or are they about to discover it? Discuss ideas with pupils and ask them to write their middle idea on their planning sheet.
Next show slide 8 (End). Explain to pupils that the ending finishes the story – we need to find out what happened to the object and the character(s). Did they disappear? Did they live happily ever after? Was the object used for anything? Was it all a dream? Ask pupils to write their ending ideas on their planning sheet.
Next show slide 9 (Descriptive language). Explain to pupils that to make an exciting story for readers they need to include adjectives in their story. Ask them to think about what their setting, character and object are like – huge, tiny, dusty, damp, shiny, glimmering etc. Ask pupils to think how their character feels in the situation – what emotions do they feel?
Your pupils will now have a completed planning sheet with all the required elements to write their own story.
Now pupils have completed their planning sheet they are ready to get writing their own story. Their final story can be written up directly onto the Let’s Get Writing entry form.
Ask pupils to work in pairs or small groups and to read their stories to one another. Peers are to feedback something they like about the story and something they think could be improved.
Challenge more advanced pupils by asking them to write a story based on a title of your choice, or ask them to include more than one character, setting and object.
Prepare an adverb sheet and an adjective sheet for the class to assist with vocabulary variety in their writing.
Younger or less able children can work in pairs to compose their story, and be given a setting, character, object etc to assist them with their story-telling. Or they can narrate their story to an adult scribe.
Ask pupils to practise reading their story and then ask them to read it out to the rest of the class.
To extend the activity, based on the class’ academic ability, you could use your chosen example story to identify descriptive vocabulary and how dialogue is used.
To extend the activity ask pupils to illustrate their story.
This activity may take up to 1 hour 10 minutes. Alternatively, the introductory work can be done in class (40 minutes) and the story can be written as homework.
“George’s Marvellous Medicine” by Roald Dahl
Plot summary: George makes a medicine to make his mean granny nicer.
Setting: George’s parents’ farm.
Characters: George, George’s parents, Granny.
Objects: Big saucepan, medicine bottle.
Beginning: George’s granny is mean and scary, so George decides to make a medicine using ingredients he finds around the house and farm to make her nicer.
Middle: George gives Granny the medicine and it makes her grow. He feeds the medicine to a chicken, which grows bigger. His parents want all the animals to have the medicine so they’d get rich! Granny is now a giant, but happy.
End: George has to make the medicine again so his dad can sell it to other farms. George can’t remember how and tries several times. Mistakenly, Granny drinks a cup of the wrong medicine and disappears forever.