Student Spotlight: Caleb!

Crossword writing activity

Hi Julie,

Here is an activity I did with my son. It is not one of the activities in Partnership Writing but similar to the one using words from magazines.

I had both my kids (11 and 13) each use a set of scrabble tiles to create their own crossword on the tabletop. Both enjoyed the activity. The sheer volume of words they considered during this project was staggering.

The next time, I only did the activity with my 11 year old reluctant writer. I used the other scrabble set and made a crossword as well.

When we had finished, I asked Caleb to use some of his words to write a few sentences or a poem or a paragraph. It didn’t matter how many he used as long as some of them were from the crossword. I also used some of my words to write a story.

Well, Caleb worked for about 2 and a half hours. I only expected him to work for a short while and write a few sentences. He became completely engrossed in the process. He challenged himself to use all the words.

I am amazed at what he produced compared to what he has ever written before.

He has revisited the story a couple of times and read it out loud to check the punctuation. He was keen to be the editor so I have left that to him.

Kindest regards,
Ngaire

The Trick

by Caleb

“Ah, so many options to choose from.” James said, “Wow!” he exclaimed, “This pot of rations has a bag of seeds and a batch of biscuits in it!”
“Hmm, it really is getting on isn’t it, I better get back to the inn to complete that exam.

Once he’d got to the inn however, his friends snuck in to his cabin to rig up a trap.
They unanimously voted on who was the one to lead James into the right spot. They individually wrote who they thought should do it on separate bits of paper and put it into a fez, out of some dress-ups they had found, and a name was then picked out. Once one was picked out Callum said, “It’s a pity that we have to tip a bucket full of water on his head, because he told me today that he used an awful lot of gel because his hair was sticking up like turkey feathers.” He was clearly trying to talk the others out of doing what they were planning because he had been voted to lead James. While he said this though, the boys weren’t focusing on what he was saying because they were trying not to laugh at his t-shirt because it was stretched so much at the bottom that it looked like a frock.

“Gee, that maths exam was super hard.” James exclaimed to himself. He had no idea what was in store for him. As he walked into the cabin he spotted Callum, “Hi James, I was just looking for you.” Callum said. Everything was ready. The bucket with the yoyo string attached was in place, so were the boys in the roof. They could look down into the room for there were no boards in the ceiling stopping them. The bucket was on a beam and the boys had the string attached to it, so that when they pulled the yoyo, the bucket went toppling. James hadn’t looked at anything above the clock on the wall, so hadn’t seen them squatting in the roof, so the boys thought. The truth being James had already worked out what they were doing, and had a plan of action.

“Come over here, I want to show you this rock I found.”
“Ok.” He said pretending to be interested. He started walking towards the spot where he knew the bucket was going to fall. As soon as he nearly got there he said in a hurried voice “Quick, there is the air-raid siren!” James started towards the exit, and as Callum was not the smartest of children, did so as well even though James had deliberately set him up. The bucket had already started falling, indicating the string had already been pulled, so by the time the water had got there, it wasn’t James, but Callum who was under it, and the water was all over his head. “I’ve never broken my jaw but that felt pretty close to it!” he cried out as soon as it had hit, “Plus, you guys are idiots.” He turned on his heel and out the door. There was an awkward silence only to be broken by either a frog or a toad croak, no one could tell. “Well, that was a flawed plan. Plus I’m surprised he never broken his jaw before he plays so much rugby league.” One of the friends said knowingly.

Image by Ngaire (text added)

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