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24 September 2022

Creating Maps and Re-Writing our Favourite Stories

Junior Writers

This week was all about combining the fantasy world ideas we came up with last week

To create a group world we can develop in the next couple of weeks.

We started off by reminding ourselves of last weeks ideas:

- extinct animals have come back to life

- humans are not in charge

- weapons like bows and arrows

- a bright light

- pine trees

- rivers

- a dragon who can’t fly

- a little girl bat who wants to have fun

After we refreshed our memories we did 5 minutes of free writing to extend our ideas about our world.

- some of the extinct animals became: a dodo that can fly with a jet pack and a giant lizard

- the humans only have one building that belongs to them

- the bat girl has a skeleton friend

- there is a ‘protector’ created by the humans who is a giant made of stone.

Here’s some of the amazing free writing and drawings:

After we had shared these new ideas it was finally time to THROW SOME PASTA.

The writers were split into 3 groups and tasked with making a map for their world by throwing dried pasta onto a big piece of paper and joining up the lines.

Here is an example of one of the maps they made.

After making the maps the last task of the day was to come up with a name. We wrote down everyone’s ideas, combined them and then voted deciding the name of our fantasy world is officially:


Next week we will be making an acrostic poem about this world and will be developing our maps and the history/facts about this world even more!

11-14 & 15-18 Groups

Onto week four and a slight change from our advertised schedule. Following the sad passing of Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) earlier in the week, we were inspired to explore stories through her iconic style. 

To kick things off, we asked the Young Writers to summarize their favorite book, film, or TV show in three short sentences. They had to keep the title as ambiguous as possible so the rest of the group could try and guess the story. For example: ‘An orphan discovers he has magical powers. He goes to school to learn more. He makes friends, enemies, and goes on an adventure.’ Any ideas? Of course it was Harry Potter. Other stories that came up included The Hunger Games, Toy Story, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. 

We then got to listen as some of the Young Writers shared things they’ve been working on since the start of term – some of which are featured on today’s blog. They were as brilliant as ever!

Next up, we then looked at the first page of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall, with the famous first line ‘So now get up.’ We read it aloud (brilliantly) as a group and talked about some of Mantel’s techniques – from using the present tense to her specific motifs (liquids, body parts, etc.) The Young Writers had to identify facts and questions from the text, things like ‘they have a dog’ and ‘what has happened just before the book starts?’ The older group also made lists of the different motifs, including everything on the horizontal and vertical axis and the different sounds that occur in the passage. 

Now we’d explored Wolf Hall, we talked about Hilary Mantel’s idea of presenting this period of history through the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, a man previously vilified by historians and writers. We took this approach back to our favourite stories from earlier in the session. Each Writer chose a different character from their favourite book, film, or TV show and rewrote their three-sentence summary to reflect that character’s perspective. For example: ‘A young wizard has to live up to his family’s reputation. He makes friends with the most famous wizard in school. He defeats a giant chess set to help him.’ Answer? Ron Weasley. Finally, we chose specific moments from these stories to reimagine in Hilary Mantel’s immersive present-tense style. It was a great joy to read these and hear them aloud, as well as some of the brilliant ideas (who doesn’t want to hear about the snowball fight scene in Elf told in Wolf Hall prose?) 

Next week we’ll be looking at playwrighting…

Recommendations from the Room: Apply for National Theatre’s 16-21 writing for theatre course! Deadline is 3rd October at 10am. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning/young-people/16-21-writing-for-theatre-2021


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