Creative Writing


This week we started “creative writing”. Can you “start “creative writing””?  Surely it has to be spontaneous, from the heart,  rising from within ….? Anyway, it is the next “Unit” in our English programme, so we will do what we can…!  I have a feeling that you are going to be good at this girls!  Judging by the language in your formal essays you are itching to get those creative juices flowing and use adjectives and your imagination to the fullest.  I think though, that we do have some work to do with regard to some sort of plausibility!  Never mind,  it is the end of term and if we can’t go a little wild now,  when can we?

A few weeks ago when we started speech writing I introduced you to Pecha Flickr, a tool created by a guy named Alan Levine (@cogdog). You enjoyed the randomness of the images generated when we put in a theme and rose to the challenge to speak for 20 seconds.  This week we tried 5card Flickr,  another of Alan’s tools.  This was to get you thinking about telling stories in another way.  Making connections, building transitions,  sequencing and developing ideas and language.

It is always interesting, as a teacher, planning lessons:  I have an idea of what I want the outcome to be,  I decide on an activity, I devise it and then I have to be prepared for you to surprise me and turn it completely on its head!  It is not always easy and I know that you threw me this week when you didn’t quite do what I expected.  But I have learned to go with the flow, build on the moment and take the learning opportunities as they arise.  We ran out of time and energy this week (it is the least week of term, after all) but we will come back to 5card Flickr next term.  Meanwhile,  here is your amazing and very wacky story! (unedited!) Why not let me know what you think of the Flickr tools?  How else do you think we could use them to help you build your skills in English?

Five Card Story: The Revenge of the Alpacas

a Five Card Flickr story created by 9AR


flickr photo by bionicteaching


flickr photo by Serenae


flickr photo by Serenae


flickr photo by bionicteaching


flickr photo by bionicteaching

One day, there were a bunch of six year old sailors. They kidnapped a young boy called Jimmy. Jimmy was italian with blonde hair and abs. He had a tan and got all the girls. Jimmy was in love with a young girl called Tiana, one of the six year old’s older sister, this made them mad. They saw a poisonous leaf on the edge of their boat. Jimmy touched the poisonous leaf and immediately dropped dead! His crewmates had no idea what to, do so they did what they always did when someone died out at sea. They dumped him in the harsh, stormy sea and the waves encased him in a watery coffin. His lungs filled with salty poison.

After they put him in the sea they all went for dinner in the beach town and they had spaghetti and eggs.

When they were having dinner they saw a body wash up on the shore. They all screamed in horror and spilt their eggs and spaghetti. They were all very sad because it tasted so good and cost them 3 chickens and 5 wooden spoons.The 6 year old irish sailors ran away at 15 miles an hour!

Plot twist! Jimmy woke up, he hadn’t died but he was now riding on a tsunami and then he woke up! It was all a dream! Then he realised he was drowning he tried to swim to the surface but a tiger shark thought he was pretty hungry so he ate the boy. THEN HE WOKE UP AGAIN OMG. Then a pack of alpacas came and ate him. They tore his limbs off and ate them. He died; it turns out he wasn’t dreaming after all.


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Book recommendations

a selection of books

One of the activities for your Wider Reading challenges is to read a book that someone else has recommended to you and then briefly comment on it.  Please comment on this post to say;

  • What you have read
  • Who recommended it
  • Whether your enjoyed it
  • Why / Why not?

Why should we read something that somebody else recommends?  I know that I often get stuck in a rut of genres.  I love crime and thrillers and could read them endlessly.  Often I go for them in the library or the bookstore because I am comfortable with the names of the authors and the predictability of the story-lines.  They are easy reading.  I sometimes don’t have the energy or the time to browse through and read the blurbs of all the other books.  And books are so expensive, I am reluctant to buy a book written by an unknown author, of a different genre in case it turns out that I don’t like it and I have wasted my money!  However, having a book recommended by someone makes choices easier and makes me more willing to take a risk.  Sharing and borrowing books makes sense.  Maybe this week we could build our own library in the classroom of books that we have already read and don’t want cluttering up our space any more? Or, if you don’t want to give a precious book away,  you can lend a book to a friend knowing that they will return it once they have read it.

I challenge you this week to bring a book to school that you think someone else will enjoy, tell them about it and lend it to them.  I also challenge you to read outside your comfort zone …

“I have a dream….!”

sunset kapitiWell girls, you have blown me away with your speeches!  I loved listening to you presenting the well-crafted speeches you wrote based on your chosen themes from the texts we have studied this year.  “Dreams” was a popular choice and inevitably many of you chose Martin Luther King’s famous words in your speeches.  But determination, fear, family, relationships, identity, purpose, our place in the world were all things that you spoke about and you all found interesting ways to illustrate your ideas and found examples from real life that were relevant and applicable.

I know many of you were nervous about speaking in front of your peers but you overcame your fears and put into practice the determination you talked about to overcome those fears, and your identities certainly came through strongly.

I asked you to assess your peers as well.  This is not an easy thing to do but I am impressed with the perceptive comments you made and how honest and professional you were as you took on that role.  As well as assessing a classmate, I also asked you to assess your own performance and consider what you think you did well and what you feel you could focus on for improvement for the next time you make a speech.  Those assessments are reflective and mature.  I think, maybe, that some of you are harsher critics of yourselves and each other than I am!

Great work, girls!  Have a good rest over the holidays.