The Guardian eyewitness app on the iPad is one of my favourites – the pictures are simply stunning in their quality and provide a great stimulus for writing. This week we are looking at creative writing – developing scenes and characters.
I started the lesson by reading a series of story starts and the children had to guess the scene – picking out how they knew what the setting was without being explicitly told. We also talked about the importance of putting ourselves into the scene and imagining what we could see, hear and feel.
I put the first photo on the IWB, I choose this as it related to the short task a busy place. The children talked in their groups and came up with a list of powerful vocabulary that we could use – we then wrote a paragraph to describe it together.
Each table were then given a photograph from the site to write their own setting. After twenty minutes, the children shared their writing with the class, the rest of the class had to guess the setting – which was then displayed on the board. This really helped the children set the scene! I have included some of the writing below as was just blown away by it!
Smoke curled into the air, making people hack and cough. Charred houses struggled to stay up. The orange devil ran like a cheetah, killing anything in its path. Destruction swept over the once beautiful florescent wildlife. Panicked cries filled the air as the devil continued to run. People stumbled blindly while gabbling silent pleas, there greatest enemy was here and not about to stop. Animals leapt from there burnt houses. Soon the orange devil faded and its putrid black soul clouded the clear sky. Telling the tropics it would return.
The photo for this can be found here
Another group had this photo
The cold and wet soaked through my boots as I slowly dragged myself home. The street was deserted and eerily quit, and felt strange as I walked in the middle of the road. Stepping on to the white blanket, the only noise was the crunch beneath my feet. Big white rocks surrounded me on either side for once immobile, quit in this usually busy city. As I got home to my nice warm sofa I sat down to enjoy a lovely cup of hot coco, and thought of the day I had!
The children really enjoyed the activity and we ended the lesson by having a look at some more of the photos on the site – a great site to help children set the scene.