Primary School Teachers' Resources: Spooky Snippets Project

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A resource for Primary School Teachers designed to help teach poetry. The theme is 'Spooky Snippets' Includes lessons plans and hand-outs


  • Developing a Creative Writing Club in your Primary School

    Spooky Snippets

  • Page 2 Spooky Snippets project

    Spooky Snippets

    A six week programme of lesson plans and resources for new or established creative writing clubs culminating in a Spooky Snippets event

    Designed and produced by Mark Grist as part of the Well Versed Poetry in School project

    Week 1 A range of word games designed to get students thinking about the ingredients of the horror/gothic genre.

    Week 2 The Boneyard Rap students get to make their own spooky raps in pairs/threes.

    Week 3 Spooky short stories- Students try to build suspense using no more than 50 words.

    Week 4 Looking at the witches from Macbeth recreating Act1 Scene 1 as a small performance.

    Week 5 More games some creepy limericks.

    Week 6 Final preparation for the event.

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    Week One

    Intended learningAn introduction to horror/gothic writing and some quick writing activities aimed at identifying elements of the genre.

    Intended outcomesStudents create their own scary stories and to list the details of the horror genre these lists may be useful in later sessions.

    Time Activity Resources required

    00-05 minutes

    Word scramble write the following letters on the board


    Pupils have to see how many words of three letters or more they can find in these 9 letters. They have 2 minutes to write down as many as they can. There is also a word that can be made using all of the letters. If anyone gets this, then they get 5 bonus points. The word that is hidden is SPEEDBOAT

    Once the time is up, get the pupils to count them up and see who thinks they have the most. Then get the student claiming the most to read their words out while you write them up on the board. Ask the others which ones they also got, or for any other particularly long words that havent yet been written on the board.

    Wherever possible follow the same routine as the previous week this game will be the opening game for every session of the half term.

    05-15 minutes

    Ask the students for the ingredients of scary stories. They have a minute to talk in pairs and decide on three things which are often found in scary stories.Share these and add the following if they arent mentioned, writing them on the board:GhostsBloodFootstepsThunder The students then get into pairs/threes. They need to get a sheet of paper and attempt to write something for every letter of the alphabet that links with the horror genre. EGA -AlleywaysB BloodC- Chill

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    15-20 minutes

    Pupils share their words until the board has 6-8 words on it. During this time you can discuss whether the words are accurate for the horror genre.

    20-25 minutes

    Pupils see whether they can create a story in 5 minutes that uses all the words from the board.

    25-30 minutes

    Pupils share their stories with each other.

    Extension work

    Pupils write their own scary stories or finish filling in their A-Z of horror words.

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    Week Two

    Intended learningWhile looking at Boneyard Rap, by Wes Magee, the pupils experiment with rhythm within poetry/rap.

    Intended outcomesPupils to create their own raps in pairs/threes with a spooky twist.

    Time Activity Resources required

    00-05 minutes

    Word scramble write the following letters on the board KELTOENS

    The word that is hidden is SKELETON

    Same rules as previous week

    05-10 minutes

    Listen to The Boneyard Rap being read by Wes Magee, while the students look at copies of the raps on the table in front of them.

    The poem can be found at:

    10-15 minutes

    Get the students to answer the following:- What do you like about the poem? Give them a minute to discuss and prepare their answer.- Is it scary? - Do you think that the writer was trying to be scary?- How important is the rhythm in the rap?

    15-25 minutes

    Write the following on the board:- The Vampire Rap- The Werewolf rap- The Ghostly rapAnd ask the students to choose one (in pairs or threes) to write. They then get ten minutes to start writing their raps.

    25-30 minutes

    Pupills to read their raps out

    Extension work

    To continue working on their raps.

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    Week Three

    Intended learningTo look at how to build suspense in a short space of time.

    Intended outcomesPupils will create their own scary short stories, with a fifty word limit.

    Time Activity Resources required

    00-05 minutes

    Word scramble write the following letters on the board


    You can give a clue for the word using all letters as being something to do with last weeks writing club.

    The word that is hidden is BONEYARD

    Same rules as previous weeks.

    05-15 minutes

    Explain that pupils are going to be creating short stories of no more than 50 words. The stories will all be sent off for the Mini Sagas competition. It would be best if they were scary, to keep with our theme for the half term.

    Details of the Mini Sagas Competition can be found on the Young Writers web-site -

    15-25 minutes

    Using the suggested opening line: It was dark when she left the house. (pupils can use their own scary first lines if they want) pupils write their own mini sagas in rough before then writing them out again in neat.

    25-30 minutes

    Mini Sagas can then be read out to the rest of the pupils. They can also then be sent off for the competition, should the teacher want to.

    Extension Work

    To write another story for the competition or to rewrite these ones in neat for a display.

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    Week Four

    Intended learningStudents to develop a critical directorial response to the opening of Macbeth

    Intended outcomesStudents prepare their own rehearsed reading of the opening scene of Macbeth, and will hopefully have a lot of fun while doing so.

    Added notesIt would be great if you had any costume/props to hand for this session.

    Time Activity Resources required

    00-05 minutes

    Word scramble write the following letters on the board CIWTEHS

    Hidden word: WITCHES

    Same rules as previous weeks.

    05-10 minutes

    The pupils will then get a copy of the opening scene of Macbeth. You can read through the extract as a class. Then watch the recreation on YouTube.

    The opening scene from Macbeth can be found in appendix 1.

    A good video of this scene is:

    10-25 minutes

    Pupils see if they can create their own scary delivery of the scene (in threes). This means they will all be working as directors of their own scene. If there are any pupils left over, then they can create their own set designs for the opening scene/or design their own costume for one of the witches.

    25-30 minutes

    Pupils to perform their speeches feel free to play with the classroom lights/sound effects etc for added effect.

    Extension Work

    To find a scary short story or poem that they like and bring it back to the group for next week.

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    Week Five

    Intended learningTo develop an understanding of limericks, whilst looking at undermining the horror genre through humour.

    Intended outcomesEach pupil to create their own spooky limerick.

    Intended outcomesYoull be collecting the Scary Snippets in from the students they were bringing these along as the extended activity from last week theyll be used next week, so if anyone has forgotten, theyve got another week to find them.

    Time Activity Resources required

    00-05 minutes

    Word scramble write the following letters on the board

    DEIROCTR clue they were all these last week

    Hidden word: DIRECTOR

    Same rules as previous weeks.

    05-15 minutes

    Use Appendix 2 to introduce Limericks and encourage pupils to consider what a Limerick is.

    Introduction to Limericks is in Appendix 2

    15-25 minutes

    Pupils attempt to create their own limericks about monsters. Gather some suggested names for monsters from the pupils. Its always best if the monster is mentioned in the first line. An angry old ogre once saidA wicked witch from Wyndham might be too tricky a rhyme J

    25-30 minutes

    Pupils to share their limericks with the rest of the class.

    Extension Work

    If they havent already done so, pupils are to bring in a snippet of a spooky story/poem to the club for next week.

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    Week Six

    Intended learningPupils take responsibility for preparing their own Spooky Snippets presentation.

    Intended outcomesA planned outline for the Spooky Snippets event.

    Time Activity Resources Required

    00-05 minutes

    You may not have time for the game this lunchtime and may need to move straight on to the preparation for the event.

    05-15 minutes

    Pupils decide which things that theyve created they would like to read out. Each of these items can be written up on the board by the teacher.

    15-25 minutes

    The pupils, with teacher guiding them, decide which piece they want to be the last and first piece in the show. They then need to decide the order of items in the show. They should be reminded that it doesnt matter which order they get to read in, theyll all get to give a reading.

    25-30 minutes

    Pupils then practice reading their work and finish off any pieces that need improving.

    Extension work

    Pupils take away photocopies of their work to read out. The teacher may want to get a few adults to read some of the spooky snippets at the event as well.

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    Spooky Snippets resources

    Week Resources Can be found


    2 Audio and text can be found here


    3 Mini sagas website can be found here -

    4 The opening scene from Macbeth can be found in appendix 1.

    A good video of this scene is:

    5 An introduction to Limericks can be found in Appendix 2


    Additional resources

    Word search

  • Page 11Spooky Snippets project

    Appendix 1

    Macbeth by William Shakespeare

    Act 1, Scene 1

    SCENE I. A desert place. Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches First Witch When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? Second Witch When the hurlyburlys done, When the battles lost and won. Third Witch That will be ere the set of sun. First Witch Where the place? Second Witch Upon the heath. Third Witch There to meet with Macbeth. First Witch I come, Graymalkin! Second Witch Paddock calls. Third Witch Anon. ALL Fair is foul, and foul is fair : Hover through the fog and filthy air.


  • Page 12 Spooky Snippets project

    Appendix 2

    An Introduction to Limericks

    A limerick is a fun, comic type of poem. Look at these examples and see if you can make a list of the features of a limerick:

    There was an old man with a beard,Who said, Its just as I feared Two owls and a hen,Four larks and a wren,Have all built their nests in my beard.

    There once was a girl from Pinner,Who ate spiders with chips for her dinner.

    They were tricky to catch,She was really no match,

    And by Christmas was very much thinner.

    Limericks Limericks are usually five lines in length.

    Limericks normally have a rhyme scheme of a,a,b,b,a and follow a regular rhythm.

    Limericks often begin with similar lines such as:There once was a man fromThere was a young lady from

    There is a sing-song quality to limericks that make them suitable for light-hearted, funny ideas.


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