Curriculum - Special needs - Soaked in creativity

28th May 2010 at 01:00
Use a car wash as the basis for a story-writing exercise. Pupils will work up a lather as they describe each scene and learn about sentence structure

What the lesson is about

This is a story-writing exercise to help children who find fantasy writing difficult. Using a simple story frame, pupils add their own text to each scene to describe what happens at each stage of the story. The PowerPoint pages have a sound effects button to add an extra dimension. The exercise is aimed at primary pupils with autistic spectrum disorders and can be adapted to feature subjects of particular interest to pupils.

Aims: for pupils to be able to

- construct a story.

- describe what happens at each stage of a story.

- understand how to put events in order.

Getting started

Show all the scenes in the PowerPoint. Explain that a story has different parts. Ask pupils to think about what happens in each part of the story. The story follows a car going through a car wash. Have the pupils ever been through a car wash? Ask them to describe what happened.

Explain the structure of the story. The beginning sets out a problem: the car is dirty. In the middle there is the solution: the owner takes it to the car wash. At the end there is the result: a happy owner with a clean car.

Then look at each scene in turn and ask pupils to write text to accompany each picture. Ask them to describe what is happening. How did the car get so dirty? How did the owner feel about the car being dirty? What is the owner's name? How much did the car wash cost? How long does the car wash last? How did the owner feel at the end of the story?

Taking it further

Print the pages and bind them to make a book and share this with the rest of the class. Print an extra copy for the class bookshelf, to encourage the pupils to feel like real authors.

For an extension, encourage pupils to write a story about a subject of personal interest. Help them to find pictures on their chosen topic, such as going on an aeroplane, going to the supermarket, dressing a doll. If their subject is a personal object, pupils or a support adult could take pictures to illustrate the story. Ask pupils to think about the structure of their own story. What is the problem at the beginning? How is it solved? What is the result?

Where to find it

The original car wash PowerPoint, with sound effects on most pages, was uploaded by cazclark and can be found at

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