PrimaryEnglish

First-person writing – KS2 WAGOLL resource pack

What's included?

Zipped file of PDFs

Key Stage

KS2

Age

Years 5-6

Subjects

This first-person writing resource pack will help you guide KS2 children through the process of analysing a chase scene from Zo and the Forest of Secrets. It also explains the techniques they can borrow to craft a frantic chase scene of their own.

We’ve included teachers’ notes, with suggestions of how you might use these resources with your class. 

First-person writing – KS2 resources

This download contains:

  • Extract from Zo and the Forest of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim 
  • ‘How writers create a breathless first-person chase scene’ poster 
  • ‘Exploring writers’ techniques’ worksheet 
  • ‘Exploring writers’ techniques’ working wall display 
  • Location, obstacles and possession images 
  • Planning sheet 

What is Zo and the Forest of Secrets about?

Zo and the Forest of Secrets is an exciting fantasy adventure, set in nature on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. It’s for 9+ readers who are fans of Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer or the Percy Jackson series.

The story features two children with different secrets. They work together to battle strange creatures and dangerous adults who are after them and their gifts.  

Zo Joseph is stuck at a remote seaside village called Samaan Bay. She’s been forced to move there from the city with her mother’s new family, after her parents’ divorce.

Now, Zo misses her dad more than ever as he’s out of the country for work. But Zo thinks up a plan. She’ll pretend to be lost in the forest, so that he comes to find her. 

Her strategy quickly backfires. She finds herself in the forest being chased by robotic gnats, a dinosaur-like creature she calls the Flesh-skinner, and smart-mouthed Anansi spiders.

Now, Zo has to figure out how to survive and get back to her family. On the way, she rescues a boy, Adri Khan, who is in Trinidad from New York to celebrate his mother’s cancer remission. 

Adri has no memory of the weeks he and his parents have been missing from the village since their boat capsized at sea. 


Five tips for writing a first-person chase scene

Put yourself in your character’s body  

What physical reactions are they having to being chased? How do these reactions change as the chase continues? 

Use the five senses  

What is your character seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching (or being touched by) on the chase? 

Create stages  

Think of the chase as having different stages. Have something change and become more intense in each stage: whether in the setting, events and actions, or your character’s feelings and reactions. 

Add obstacles and surprises  

In addition to what’s chasing them, what other challenges, blocks, surprises, or twists does your character face as they’re trying to get away? 

Play with hope 

Allow your character to have moments in the chase where things seem hopeful and they have near misses and near escapes, followed by things becoming more intense or taking a surprising turn. This will increase our sense of tension as readers. 


Zo and the Invisible Island

In the sequel, Zo and the Invisible Island, Zo finds herself on a journey to recover Adri’s memories of her, that the Council have wiped clean.

Through a series of portals, she goes on an adventure through coastal deserts, cactus forests, ostrich herds, flamingo lakes, salt pans, salt pyramids, and coral reefs on the islands.

Along the way, she meets children from different backgrounds and countries, each with their own unique abilities, all trying to pass the Council’s tests.

Can Zo survive and recover Adri’s memories, or must she choose between her friend and her fight for freedom?  


Alake Pilgrim writes from the uncanny islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, where people are connected to Africa, India, China, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. Browse more WAGOLL packs from real authors.

Narrative writing WAGOLL
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First-person writing – KS2 WAGOLL resource pack
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