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Toy Stories

Lesson Plan for KS2

Enter Toy Stories Today!

Get published, win prizes!

Mini Saga Lesson Plan

Preparation


  • Bookmark the Toy Stories video that introduces the activity to pupils
  • Each pupil needs an entry form (you can photocopy them, download them or request them online and we'll post as many as you need!)
  • All resources / video can be downloaded for free at www.youngwriters.co.uk/competitions/toy-stories

Introduction (Slide 2)

Explain to your pupils that today they will learn what a mini saga is and how to inspire their story writing before creating a mini saga for Toy Stories.

Activity Name Slide Reference Activity Details
What is a mini saga? 3‐4

A mini saga is a story told in just 100 words. There are three golden rules of mini saga writing your pupils need to stick to:

  • Be original! Your pupils can be inspired by other stories, but they should add a twist, make it their own!
  • Keep to the 100-word limit ‐ less is always more!
  • Remember that mini sagas must have a beginning, a middle and an end!

Now show pupils the Toy Stories video, which will show them an example of a mini saga and introduce them to the writing activity.


Experiment with Extended Noun Phrases 5-11

When writing a mini saga, pupils need to pick their words wisely and use description cleverly. Extended noun phrases are a great way to include vital description in a succinct way.

For example, if pupils wrote "The huge giant loomed over them", they've wasted words as the adjective isn't adding any value to the descriptive noun. Pupils need to think carefully about adjectives they use, what precise information are they trying to convey? Telling the reader that "A big, yellow, powerful lion roared" isn't much more useful than simply saying "The lion", whereas "The small, cuddly lion" gives the reader useful information that they couldn't have guessed or assumed.

Ask pupils to each try writing an extended noun phrase about one of the characters on the front of their entry form.

Here are some examples:

  • The billowing red parachutes carried the brave soldiers
  • The old, woollen toy monkey dangled from the white, soft toilet roll
  • The new, shiny paint tin was tipped over and wet, tiny footprints spread across the floor

Share some of their examples with the class or in small groups. How would other pupils improve the sentence or do they like it as it is? Why?

Now ask pupils to suggest ideas about what they could write about and make a list on the board. Pick two of their examples and ask them to imagine how they'd tell this story in their head - can they write an extended noun phrase for each of these? Share their ideas with the class.


Composing a Mini Saga 12

Now it's time for your pupils to write their own mini saga. They can be inspired by the Toy Stories scene, pick an idea off the board, but they are welcome to use their own ideas, we don't restrain imagination, we love originality!

Ensure your pupils understand the task and answer any questions they may have before they start writing.


Plenary (Slide 12)

Ask pupils to work in pairs to read their mini sagas to one another. Their partner is to provide feedback; something they like and something that can be improved. The partner can help edit the work down if it exceeds the 100-word limit. Provide pupils with a few minutes to make any changes to their work.

Notes:

This is 60 minute activity depending on the size and ability of the class. Introductory work can be done in the lesson and the mini saga can be written as homework.

DIFFERENTIATION

  • Challenge more advanced pupils by asking them to write in first person narrative or provide them with key words of your choice that they need to incorporate.
  • Less able pupils can work in pairs / their group on their mini saga and focus on sharing ideas. If they are able to, they can then write their own mini saga, even if it shares similarities with their partner / rest of the group's work.
  • To extend the activity, ask pupils to edit their work.