Creative Writing

Creative Writing

When a giant, shiny, halo shaped object appears overnight outside a well known supermarket people start to speculate how it got there and what it means.

A lesson plan for teachers to help develop writing skills and start a creative writing project for a defined audience. Students will research online news stories and create their own news report.

Key Stage:

KS 2 English - Composition


This lesson can be used to:
- Start a creative writing project for a defined audience
- Develop writing skills including narratives, describing settings, characters, dialogue and action
- Develop research and discussion skills
- Support pupils to assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing

Suggested Classroom Activity

Show the pupils the short film of the object in front of the supermarket. Ask them:
What they think it is?
What they think it might mean?
How did it get there?

<b>Suggested Classroom Activity cont</b>

Suggested Classroom Activity cont

In small groups or pairs ask the students to write down some of the answers to the questions above. Each group can then choose their best two ideas and share these answers with the rest of the class.

The discussions with the rest of the class will help the groups choose their best answer to develop into a news report.

Online News Reports

Before developing your ideas it is important that the students research examples of online news reports to work out what they need to include in their article.
This news report is from the BBC and is about a hot air balloon that landed in a primary school in Cambridgeshire in 2018. Print off copies of the story or share the link so that the students can read the story and look closely at the layout.

Download Example of an online news story.pdf

Online News Reports Template

We have produced a simple template to help you layout your report. If you are writing a report for your school website you should look at the layout being used there. Nearly all reports will include a heading, the date, an image and some text.

Download Template for online news story.pdf
<b>Your News Report</b>

Your News Report

Using a similar layout to the BBC story or your school website' create a news report about how a large stainless steel 'Halo' came to be in front of a well known supermarket. Your news report should describe the object, the setting and any characters. It should include interviews with the characters, asking them what they saw or what they think ‘Halo’ means and how it got there.
<b>Word Count and Audience</b>

Word Count and Audience

Set the students a word limit for this report. The BBC story is 240 words. If you are looking at a news report for your school website then look at a previous story and count the number of words used.

Make sure that students identify the audience they are writing for and use words that are appropriate for that age group.

Share and Evaluate

Ask the pupils to read out their news reports, acting out the different characters.

Ask the class what they really liked about each story.

Now watch this video by a primary school that takes the form of a news report about the very same sculpture, 'Halo' by Stephen Newby located in Gateshead Trinity Square.
<b>Review 'Halo' Film</b>

Review 'Halo' Film

The catholic primary school who made this film decided to do a spoof news report for an imaginary channel Gateshead Central News. They scripted their film and filmed it in their classroom in front of a simple green screen. Every Year 5 student in the class contributed. Ask you students how this group might have improved their film.
<b>The Sculpture</b>

The Sculpture

According to the publicity from the time of installation the sculpture is described as a ‘stunning gravity-defying spectacle stretching 27-foot in the form of a loop, which by night is illuminated by colour changing fibre-optic lights.’ ‘Halo’ was commissioned by Trinity Square developers Spenhill in 2008 with a brief to the artist Stephen Newby to create ‘a strong, iconic artwork’.

Development Activity:

Elsewhere on CultureStreet there is a creative writing workshop delivered by Seven Stories the Centre for the Children's Book in Newcastle upon Tyne which includes a number of exercises to help make writing easier.
Imaginative writing workshop

You might want your group to progress onto this lesson plan also about writing for a different audience based on a shipwreck on Deal beach.
A Terrible Shipwreck

We also have a lesson plan which mixes art and writing to create a poster -style painting
Words In Art

Learning Objectives:

Through using this lesson plan students should:
- Plan their writing
- Draft and write
- Evaluate and edit
-Show imagination through the language used to create emphasis, humour, atmosphere or suspense.
-Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
-Reflect independently and critically on their own writing and edit and improve it.

Research, Notes and Links:

Download this lesson plan