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Get Primary Children Writing Creative Stories and Poems to Win £1,500 for your School

Give your school a great gift this Christmas

  • Get Primary Children Writing Creative Stories and Poems to Win £1,500 for your School

Popular children’s author Sam Hay is challenging local youngsters to come up with a new Christmas classic story, for a chance to win some brilliant prizes up in the fourth annual Write Christmas competition.

The competition, launched by cartridgesave.co.uk, aims to get children writing creative stories and poems for the chance to win £1,500 for their school plus a stocking full of gifts for themselves.

Lesson plans for KS1 and KS2 have been developed to help you get your class involved. This one here is aimed at Years 3 and 4, but rest assured that there’s something for primary children of all ages.

Download links are at the end of the feature.

Specific learning

  • To know what an expanded noun phrase is.
  • To be able to write an expanded noun phrase using appropriate adjectives
  • To understand how an expanded noun phrases can improve writing (for example, the blue butterfly, plain flour, the man in the moon)
  • Reading – To be able predict based on what may happen based on the details stated and implied

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Children will be able to use a story mountain to plan their own creative writing.


Noun, expanded noun phrase, onomatopoeia, alliteration, opening, build up, problem, resolution and ending.

Oral Starter (5 minutes)

Show a picture of a roof with snow on the top. Read the the opening paragraph of The Sweet-Treat Spies (which you can download here) by Sam Hay up to ‘ ……who had a pretty good idea who it might be’.

Ask the children who they think it could be, write their prediction on their whiteboard.

Continue reading….. was their prediction correct?

Main Teaching (20 minutes)

Discuss with the children who the main characters in the story are: Malcolmn, Malcolm’s Dad, Mrs Christmas.

Ask the children to think about the setting (mixed ability partners).

Give out a paragraph from the story (from ‘it happened’ …to ‘in your mouth.’), can the children find the expanded noun phrases? How do they improve the description of the bakery? Would it have the same effect if they weren’t there?

Tell the children that you have a picture in your head of the bakery. Ask the children to imagine what the bakery looks and smells like, show a picture of a bakery and record/model children’s ideas.

Emphasise the importance of extended noun phrases in stories. Model choosing appropriate words to extend the noun phrase, why wouldn’t some ideas work?

Children can then sketch an illustration of a bakery (this can be provided) and record their ideas of extended noun phrases around the bakery image. Magpie good ideas and put on a class word bank to support children’s ideas.

Recap the story using a story mountain: Beginning, build up, problem, resolution, ending. Ask the children to talk to their partner and tell them what they think happens next.

Children to spend 10 minutes planning a story about what happens next on their whiteboards – Is it really Mrs Christmas? Where does Malcolm go on the sleigh?

Group Activities (25 minutes)

Explain to the children that Sam Hay has asked the children to write the 2nd chapter to this story.

Children should follow their plan and continue the story for 25 minutes. Discuss with the children the success criteria.

Suggested success criteria

  1. Continue the story
  2. Include extended noun phrases
  3. Expressing time, place and cause using conjunctions
  4. Pretend to be Malcolm

How to enter

Download the complete lesson plans for KS1 or KS2, here:

The deadline for entries is Friday 17 November, so to find out more and to enter, head to cartridgesave.co.uk/printwhatmatters/writechristmas2017.

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