Armed with a dictionary, a thesaurus and, of course, an atlas you are going to take your children on an exciting journey round the world in exactly 26 letters!
Our resident children’s poet and writer David Horner has tried this idea out in many schools and it is always a great success and can deliver some amazing results. It is also one of over 100 creative writing ideas in his latest book ‘Cracking Creative Writing’. One of many great books that can be found at Brilliant Publications.
It is a task that can be done by individuals or small groups of children. They can have a go at all 26 letters of the alphabet or you can share the letters out amongst the children. This extract is taken from a school where the teacher and David decided to take the best lines and create a class poem.
A is an artist acting amazingly in Athens.
B is a butcher building a bathroom badly in Beijing.
C is a cook catching crabs carefully in Copenhagen.
D is a dentist dancing dangerously in Detroit.
What To Do?
Get the children to write the title ‘Round The World in 26 Letters’ at the top of your page.
Print out the extract above or write it up on your whiteboard and ask the children if they can see the pattern of the lines. How do they begin? How do they end? Can they spot the adverbs?
Next, explain to the children that each time they tackle a letter of the alphabet they need to follow these steps:
- Write the letter of the alphabet as a capital + is
- Choose a person’s job that starts with this letter. Your dictionary and thesaurus can help you here.
- Next, add a verb that starts with this letter. Write it in the progressive form – ending ‘ing’. Use your dictionary to help you find a verb you like.
- Now you need an adverb that starts with this letter. You might find adjectives first of all and you can usually add ly to the end to make the adverb.
- Finally, write in and finish the line with a city or country that starts with this letter. Use your atlas to help you find this.
Hint: when they reach X, tell them not to panic! They can use Ex to begin their keywords.
If your children come up with some great ideas, which I’m sure they will, why not leave extracts in the comments below for others to see?
Mike and David – Goodeyedeers