Letters / postcards
Write a letter as a character in the book to another character
in the book, a new invented character or a real-life character.
For example you could write a letter as Tracy Beaker (from
Jacqueline Wilson's book) to the Prime Minister asking him
to do something about foster homes or to the local police
asking them to help her find her mum.
Another activity is for the children to write a letter from
them to a character in the book. The teacher could, I suppose,
write replies back or replies could be written by a class
higher up the school. Where good relations exist pupils
at the local secondary school could be drafted in to take
on the role of the characters in the book. On rare occasions
perhaps the book's author could get involved. [You could
split your class into two and get them to send the letters
to each other]
Get the children to write a letter to the author. They
could even include some samples of the work they've been
doing. Contact the author's publisher or publicist to
find out the best address to send stuff to before you
post a large package! Also write first to see what sort
of response to the letters you could get - that way the
children won't be too crushed when you've told them they
might get individual replies and they don't even get a
If possible you could see if you could invite the author
into school or see if your local library could organise
an event with the author for a few classes from schools
in the local area.
maps related to the location(s) in the text.
maps in the text as a basis for creative writing.
a tour guide for a place in the story (advert for place
Point of view
some events in the story from another characters point
the story as an impartial observer.
as a newspaper journalist. (create a newspaper story/page)
a written interview with one of the characters in the
story (or one child writes the questions, another answers
on the role of a character in a taped interview (teacher
takes on role children ask questions or child takes
on role and teacher/children ask questions)
the diary of a character in the story.
Give the children a selection of photographs of people.
Get them to imagine that they're putting on a stage play
of the book. Which person would they choose for which role.
Why would they make that choice? Get them to talk about
their understanding of the characters in the book. What
would their 'actor' or 'actress' have to wear to become
the character? What would their 'actor' or 'actress' also
have to do (what characteristics would they have to take
on) in order to give a convincing performance as the character?
Continue / Change Story
the story after the book has finished.
in missing scenes from the story that must have happened
but the author hasn't included
a sequel to the story
what could happen next in the story
the story by changing the actions of one of the characters
in the story
the story by changing the character of one of the people
in the story (e.g. making a villain a hero instead)
the story (or a scene in the story) by adding an additional
character or removing one of the existing characters
causing a different chain of events
the story in a different style and change the events
accordingly (e.g. turn a real-life story into a fantasy/sci-fi
one or a nursery rhyme!)
the story into a different format e.g. children's book,
comic strip, play, poem, newspaper article etc.
a story about an earlier/later event in a selected character's
out part of the story.
out a scene. Stop the scene at a critical point and
brainstorm possible outcomes. Experiment with outcomes
not included in the original story.
a list of the posessions of a character
a character's bedroom
a list of the things you think a character would like
an I.D. card or passport for a character in the book
Starting in the wrong place
Start a book in the wrong place (a chapter or so in). Get
the children to try and work out what events might have
led up to the chapter that they have just heard.
poems inspired by events/situations in the book
pictures of characters from the book
pictures of locations from the book
a sound story - using instruments to convey the events
in the book
a song about the story!
the blurb for the back of a book
a suitable cover for the book
an advert for the book (for the press, radio or TV...
for the last two choose suitable extracts to perform
a review of the book
Adding the Narrative (idea
by Richard Briar)
your children just write stories as a whole load of speech?
Pull out the speech from a story and ask them to fill in
the missing narrative to make it as exciting as they can.
Look at this example sheet that Richard Briar has produced.