Year 5 students are using their creative writing skills to explore the magical world of the Russian folk tale The Firebird. The Firebird tells the tale of the Tsar’s search for the Firebird and his son’s attempts to find it. First, they took on the role of one of the Tsar’s sons, Vassily, to write letters in character. They used their learning of paragraphing, sentence variation and a range of openers as tools to express his emotions of disappointment and failure. By focusing on the character’s voice and how he might have felt, the children’s writing really came to life.
Next, it was the turn of the youngest brother, Ivan, to inspire the students. The children had great fun generating their ideas using drama role play, acting out the parts of the Tsar and son. Students collaborated in breakout rooms for the drama activity, while the teacher gave focused feedback to each child.
Students built the complexity of their writing, one step at a time, by using adverbs to add greater depth to their writing. Finally, they wrote a short scene using dialogue to share their ideas with the audience. The final writing was short, focused, meaningful and, most importantly, drawn from the children’s investment in the characters.