This is a guest post from my colleague Alexis Stevens…
This is a really nice writing and illustrating project for children and adults. Writing a story they know gives them more confidence than something abstract. It’s an opportunity to use new grammar and vocabulary they have learned and to see how they can use a range of this to enrich a text. Timed writing also gets student used to exam activities. Finally, illustrating parts of the story that they didn’t write themselves is a really nice comprehension activity for the students and a nice break from writing!
Students were introduced to the writing competition, which was between themselves and another two classes in the school.
We watched a short YouTube video of the three little pigs. We brainstormed the story into five main parts. We then watched the three little pigs guardian advert and students had to talk about the differences in the guardian version (in this the pigs are the criminals and are arrested for murder).
Students were set the task to rewrite the three little pigs with a twist at the end of the story (using Roal Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes is also a good model for this!). Students were in pairs and had seven minutes to write each part of the story but for the twist at the end students had 15 minutes. Students had to vote on their favourite at the end of each part as the favourite would go into the final book. Students were aware that all the twists (part 5 of the story) would be included in the book which was motivating for them.
For homework: students illustrated one scene each from the book and we chose our favourite for the front cover of the book at the start of the next lesson.
Students completed a controlled practice error correction with work from the first lesson where students identify there own problems. This was done as an open class quiz.
Students worked on upgrading each others’ texts. As an example, in my class I referred students to where there could have used language they had recently learnt. The students focussed on changing some dialogue between the pigs and the wolf into first conditional sentences and students found spaces in the text to use a range of adjectives, adverts and comparatives to consolidate what they’d learned throughout the year.
You can do whatever you like with the final product but make sure students have a clear reason for completing the project at the start so they remain motivated. We left our books in reception to be voted on by my other students.