English - Throwing a 'wild rumpus'

17th August 2012 at 01:00

What it's all about

Shushing P3s as they file into class is rarely productive, but today the pupils are transfixed by a large cardboard box with the words "Danger. Do not disturb" writ large on the side, writes Steve Eddison.

Cardboard boxes cost nothing and can be transformed into almost anything to support learning and creativity - televisions, high-rise buildings, dinosaurs, robots, pinhole cameras, resources for practical maths .

This time I have created a simple "Thinking Inside the Box" activity for English. Having convinced the children that there may be something dangerous in there, we speculate on what it could be. We have just been reading Where the Wild Things Are. Could it be a Wild Thing, weary from its exertions during that notorious "wild rumpus"?

The arrival of a letter proves our speculation correct. We are all in deadly peril. But according to the letter, some persuasive invitations to a wild rumpus might help to coax it out.

Armed with a model invitation and shared examples of persuasive adjectives, adverbs, similes, metaphors, rhymes and alliteration, the children go off to write.

Thirty minutes later, I sit holding the box. The children gather round and read out their invitations. As they do so, the lid tries to open. With each reading, it gets more difficult to keep shut until - at the final reading - it bursts open and the Wild Thing, with a mighty roar, leaps out to a crescendo of screams.

What else?

For a creative exploration of Where the Wild Things Are, try lisamay's school musical project. Get pupils to come up with their own monster tales with knittedowl `s descriptive writing task.

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