Lesson 4: Describe a Journey
You have reached the point in the story where some of your characters are making a journey. The StorySpinner will have explained the precise details of who is meant to be travelling where.
Now it is your turn to describe that journey in terms of what your characters see, hear, smell or feel. Write no more than 200 words, but make sure this is a well laid out, well structured piece of writing with full sentences. Think clearly about your starting point and your destination. Then you can start to imagine all the bits in between. If it helps, draw a map (like last time) before you start writing. With each new piece of description, start a new paragraph so that we can understand the journey step by step. Remember to use commas and full stops effectively.
You can tell this part of the story in the character’s own words or write in the third person (as we did in lesson 2). Here are some questions you should be thinking about when writing your journey description:
- What time of day is the travelling taking place? What’s the weather like?
- What is the mode of transport? Are we walking, driving, riding a horse etc?
- What’s the landscape like? Are there trees? Flowers? Or fields? Rivers or a desert? Waterfalls, even? Try to describe all of these elements simply and clearly so that a reader can really imagine what they look like.
- Are there wild animals to be seen? Buildings along the way? Factories? Farms? Castles? Bridges?
- Are there obstacles or dangerous places that need to be passed? Are there strangers to meet?
Try to use metaphor & simile to describe some aspects of the journey (e .g. ‘it was as quiet as an empty church’ or ‘the fields of corn were like giant yellow quilts’). Remember that these metaphors and similes might tell us something about the mood of the characters making the journey. If the traveller is scared, try to use hard scary language. If the traveller is happy, try to use soft, happy language.
The pupils should produce no more than 200 words. Ideally, they should type their descriptions into a Word or Text document. Alternatively, an A4 template can be provided. They can work individually or in groups. The StorySpinner will have indicated via the letter and the story excerpt the basic locations that can form the journey the pupils are describing. Exactly which characters are undertaking the journey will also have been prescribed. These outputs need to sent back to the StorySpinner as soon as possible, by posting electronic documents to the Web site. Pupils' work can be uploaded either as individual documents or as a collated whole. If necessary, paper documents can be returned to the NAWE office by post.
If the teacher prefers, pupils can use their local landscape to form the inspiration for their writings. Perhaps the journey to and from school could be described. Or a walk around the school, or even just the classroom could be used to generate a basic structure for the children from which they can build an imaginary sequence that is right for their particular story. (Start at The Desk of Doom, go to the Window of Light past the Land of Pencils & Paper to the Door of Freedom…)
See notes on Lesson 2
KS3 Curriculum Points
- word classes and the grammatical functions of words, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, articles
- the features of different types of sentence, including statements, questions and commands, and how to use them [for example, imperatives in commands]
- the grammar of complex sentences, including clauses, phrases and connectives
- the purposes and organisational features of paragraphs, and how ideas can be linked.