15th December 2006 at 00:00
Ages 7 to 8

To help children write dynamic descriptions, try the following fun starter.

In groups of two or three, the person with the shortest hair goes first.

They have to say something like: "Tomorrow I am going to Aberdeen to annoy angry ants". The person to their left has to repeat the formula (think of a place, verb, adjective and noun with the letter b).

To tie in with a water theme we looked at Constable's Flatford Mill (pictured). Pupils wrote a list of things (nouns) they could see in the painting. On the left they wrote an adjective for each noun, and to the right a verb, so they got something like: "white clouds floating".

When they used their lists to write a description of the painting, the detail they included was fantastic. And what is more, lots of them have been playing the game at breaktime ever since

Patrick Allen teaches in the East Riding of Yorkshire

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