Continue the story
This simple activity shows how film can be used to fire pupils' imagination and provide a stimulating writing lesson.
Here we are using the film Meat the Campbells but this activity could be carried out with any film paused at an appropriate moment.
Download the pdf worksheet and print off a copy for each child. Note this exercise cannot work if you have used this film previously in class - so just choose another.
How to do this activity
On first viewing stop the film when Mark and Jacob leave the house. Until this point there could still be a rational explanation! - OK it would have to be really weird but is possible!!
Discuss the story so far. Remind the pupils they have to continue in a similar style and vein to that of the film, maintaining the same characters etc. Discuss what genre pupils think the film is and what expectations this gives us as to what might happen. Hand out the worksheets. Let the pupils continue the story.
Have there been any hints in the film as to what might happen next?
Many will try to attempt an explanation so as to achieve a happy ending. 'It was all a bad dream!'
Share & discuss
Watch the rest of the film and discuss how it compares with their predictions. Did pupils predict sad, happy or surprise endings? Would the pupils prefer to have been left with an element of doubt?
Brainstorm types of ending for stories and films e.g. unresolved / cliff-hangers and display on your writing wall with examples. Pupils often find finishing the story the hardest part.
Write the story in the form of a newspaper report. This should be when Mark is missing but before the whole gory story has been unearthed.