Flood story workshop and writing frame
The idea of a flooded world has gripped writers like John Wyndham, J.G. Ballard more recently Marcus Sedgwick with his Floodland book (which I’m told is very good). The idea of a great flood sweeping away society is as old as Noah’s Ark but each writer puts a new twist on in. My graphic novel series London Deep is set in the future in a flooded London. The series contains some great ‘manga’ artwork by Paul McGrory. In London Deep, rival police forces for kids and grown ups compete to keep the peace.
WORKSHOPS AND ASSEMBLIES FOR SCHOOLS
I run creative writing workshops for primary and secondary schools In the past I have run workshops for Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust and the Young Archaeologists society. I also visit international schools with Author’s Abroad. Email email@example.com or call me on 0844 884 1742 if you’d like to discuss prices and availability.
ABOUT MY BOOKS
If you’re not familiar with the London Deep series – it is half graphic novel and half book. It was a Recommended Read for World Book Day in 2011. The sequel is called Father Thames. We are working on a third book called Threadneedle. In the meantime you might like to check out my Roman cat series Spartapuss or my viking sagas Beowuff and the Horrid Hen and Beowuff and the Dragon Raiders. If you want to find out more, check out my profile (Robin Price) on Lovereading.co.uk’s author profile page
Write your own story about a flooded world
A drowned world is a great setting for some tense dystopian sci-fi. You can have different communities clashing, plague, famine, pirates, a tsunami, rats, sirens or sea monsters! You can explain how the world got flooded or you could just leave it as a mystery and keep the audience guessing. If you want to write your own flooded world story, the ‘flash writing’ story maker on this page will speed you through the planning and help you get going. (Flash writing is for anyone but teachers might want to check out the instructions below the story maker for tips on how to use it in class or in a creative writing club). If you’d rather write a story about the Romans or the Stone Age – click on one of the historical periods in the right hand navigation for more story makers.
The thinking behind this ‘flash’ writing frame: ‘Planners’ and ‘Jumpers’
I’ve noticed that there are two types of writer:
• ‘Planners’ who love to map out their whole story in detail.
• ‘Jumpers’ who hate extended planning and feel the need to get going ASAP.
• Techniques like the ‘story mountain’ are ideal for ‘planners’ but they leave other children struggling to focus. To get everyone off to a good start, I have developed ‘flash’ stories. Armed with a simple framework (like the one above), you can move swiftly through the planning and get their ideas flowing onto paper.
I often do one example first on the board as a ‘demo’ getting them to vote on options.
1. Put the class into pairs. Give them the writing frame to each pair. Get them to pick one option each.
2. Tell them to write from the most exciting part of the story.
3. Tell them to write the story one sentence each. (Make sure you give them one sheet of A4 between two writers.)
4. The person who isn’t writing can draw a picture of their goodie or baddie.
After 5-10 minutes of planning you’ll get everyone writing (in pairs). Within an hour the class should be ready to share out their stories.
TIP: This writing frame was designed for Y1-Y2. I have a more challenging writing frame for older children (Y3-Y6). I have colour coded the writing frames so that blue = easy and purple = medium. Green = challenging. Because creative writing is very open ended – you could use this frame with Y6 and still get some cool results.
P.S. Seven Tips for Story Writing
If you like this approach, there are a lot of ways you can develop it and use it in class. You can introduce or practice new vocab or structures, practice dialogue or even use two flash stories (a few weeks apart) to assess their progress. Flash stories are also ideal for assisted learning (where the adult takes the part of one pair). For my free .pdf ‘7 Tips for teaching story writing’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Tips’ in the subject line or call 0844 884 1742 to discuss a workshop.
Feedback on my assemblies and workshops
Robin’s “Spartapuss” assembly was a fantastic combination of Roman facts, story telling and knockabout comedy, that, whilst entertaining the whole school, also cunningly prepared the ground for their own Roman story writing. It’s great to see that children have really been motivated to write for themselves and to read his books. ” Richard Smith, Deputy Head Trafalgar Junior School (April, 2011)
‘Robin has worked very hard giving us a lot of value for money on creating the workshops and on the behind the scenes thinking to bring the project to a head. Robin has been both creative and reliable and has thought through every step of the project. He is professional in all he does and works very well with children and adults alike.’
Dr Elizabeth Dollimore, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Stratford-Upon-Avon.