Thursday, 17 November 2011

Year Six Spy Ring

I worked with my year six spy ring again today.

This is me and a teacher's attempt to work out ways we can get a class of children acting like spies, while also getting them into writing.

Today was about creating a narrative...

... and interpreting the raw material provided by a set of photos taken of a murder.

Part one. The children and I worked through a page from The Simpson's magazine (with the words whited out) to try and work out what was hapenning in the story. This went well. They were all familiar - and therefore comfortable - with The Simpsons and wanted to understand what Bart, Lisa and Santa's Little Helper were up to.

This was a warm up for the real spy work.

Part two. We gave the children six photos (see three of them above) of a scene involving four people.

1. A man and a woman have a drink together.
2. While the man is distracted, the woman slips a poison into his drink.
3. The man drinks.
4. The man collapses.
5. The man falls on the floor - dead.
6. The woman pours the remaining drink out of the glass.

The children had to work out the order of the pictures, working out the whats, whens and hows, then write a two-sentence narrative to explain what was going on. They wrote it in the form of a spy's report. Just the same as writing a story.

This worked well too. Linking the pictures and working out the questions arising gave them  good idea of how I put my stories together - expect they did a better job than me.

Part three. This is unrelated to the story, but still about spying.

We took the children outside and they practiced 'live drops', where one person passes a bag or newspaper onto another person, swapping an identical item.

This, of course, is how spies around the world pass information to each other...

The plan is to do spy/writing exercises. To see what works. And what doesn't. Then to produce a toolkit of how to form your own Year Six Spy Ring.

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