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Welcome to Wonderland

Lesson Plan for KS3/4

Enter Welcome to Wonderland Today!

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Mini Saga Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives


  • Learn how to write a mini saga
  • Learn what speculative fiction is
  • Learn about types of narrator
  • Learn about creating a fictional world/society
  • Incorporate reading, writing, speaking and listening elements of the curriculum

Lesson Intention


  • To use students' knowledge to plan, draft and compose their own mini saga for the Welcome to Wonderland creative writing competition

Preparation


  • Photocopy the pupil worksheet for each pupil (or you can request further forms from us or download them)
  • Download our free presentation that complements this lesson plan
  • Download the resources at our website
  • Download the presentation and video introduction to complement this lesson plan from www.youngwriters.co.uk/competitions/wonderland
  • Ensure each student has an entry form (you can download these from the web link above, order them from us by phone or email, or photocopy the ones we sent you!)

Introduction (Slide 2)

Show students the video, then explain to them that today they will learn how to create a speculative fictional world and how to write a mini saga, a complete story in just 100 words.

Activity NameSlide ReferenceActivity Details
What is a mini saga?3-4

Explain to students what a mini saga is and the 3 rules of mini saga writing:

  • Be original! Students can be inspired by other stories, but must add a twist to 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!


Mini saga example5

Show your students the mini saga example so they understand what they are trying to achieve:

  • Starting Over
  • My hand trembled on the door handle of the bunker. Taking a deep breath, I threw the door wide open. The city was still and quiet, it could almost have been a painting if it weren't for the trees swaying in the breeze.
  • 'We must act quickly,' Harry whispered in my ear.
  • 'H-h-h-how many people do you think s-survived?' I stammered.
  • 'Enough to begin again with. First we'll claim parliament then we can clear the wreckage,' Harry replied, gesturing towards the corpses that littered the pavements. 'I guess we will know soon how many people took our threat seriously.'


What is speculative fiction?6-8

Ask students for books that have different worlds in, such as 'Lord of the Rings', 'The Hunger Games', 'Divergent', '1984', Harry Potter series and 'The Mortal Instruments' series.


Understanding how a fictional world is created9

Pick one example and as a class work through these questions, so students are picking apart the story to see how the fictional world has been created:

  • What genre is the book?
  • What is the world like? Is it peaceful, war-torn, a dictatorship, lawless, in a rebellion, post-apocalyptic?
  • What is the culture? How are time and money measured? How is law, food, education, transport, government used?
  • Are there different races, species or clans co-existing or is there one dominant one?
  • What is the world called?
  • What is the landscape like?
  • Can you name a key event that happens in the book? Why did students choose this event? Why was it memorable for them?


Types of narrator10

Explain to your students that to write a mini saga giving an insight into their fictional world they will need to plan their work carefully and use technical writing skills such as use of language and a narrator to create an original piece of work.

Remind them that 'speculative fiction' is a broad term that includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, apocalyptic, alternative history, or other type of fiction that is not strictly realistic. Ask them to consider what genre appeals to them and why.


Planning their work11-12

Students now need to work through their planning sheets to consider the following points before writing their mini saga:

  • Where is your world set? The future, the past, alternate reality, utopia, dystopia...
  • What is your world like? Is it peaceful, war-torn, a dictatorship, lawless, in a rebellion, post-apocalyptic? What is the landscape? What is your society like? Things to consider are time, money, law, education, food and government.
  • Who lives there? Are there different races, species or clans co-existing or is there one dominant one? Do animals, aliens, zombies, humans or another culture rule?
  • What is your world called?


Choosing a key event13

Now students have created their world, they now need to consider what key event they will write about. Here are some suggestions to inspire students, should you need to:

  • A day in the life of a... slave / ruler / creature / animal / child / employee etc.
  • How their world was created
  • How their world was destroyed
  • How their world was discovered
  • A revelation
  • A dystopian event such as a war or battle, how propaganda is used, how the culture is suffering
  • A visitor to the world
  • A great escape
  • The rise of a species / clan
  • A great success
  • An epic failure
  • A legacy
  • A natural disaster


Mini saga writing tips14-15

Remind students of the golden rules of mini saga writing and then ask them to write their own original piece of speculative fiction.

Plenary

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

Notes

This activity is ideal for a double English lesson. Depending on the size and ability of the class you may wish to do the introductory work in the lesson and ask students to write their mini sagas as homework.