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12th October 2007 at 01:00
We used to play this old game in the back of the car on long journeys. It is ideal for building descriptions of settings.

Think of a place and identify one thing that you can see (a park bench). Then say: "In the city of Rome is a park bench."

The next person has to repeat what you have said and add something else, such as: "In the city of Rome is a park bench and under the bench is a sleeping dog." A list of prepositions helps.

Pass the line on, with each child adding something else they can see or hear. Try playing the game in groups and pairs until the children can visualise and describe a scene in their own mind.

Instead of "in the city of Rome", play the game using the setting in their story, such as: "In the haunted house".

Show children how to sketch the scene and annotate, adding in similes. Practise turning the scenes into mini paragraph*

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

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