This week year 2 started work on learning about what makes a good fantasy story. I always think that to craft a good piece of writing, a writer needs some inspiration to start the process. With this in mind I introduced the children this week to the author Christopher Paolini. Paolini is the author of “The Inheritance Cycle”, which is a set of 4 books that tell the story of Eragon the Dragon Rider, who lives in the world of Alagaesia. His ability to paint a picture in the readers mind, is what makes his fantasy stories such a good read.
On looking at the front cover, the children were intrigued by the blue dragon and on reading just one paragraph about the main character Eragon, the children were hooked. A few years ago, the 1st book was made into a film, so as a class we watched a 1 minute trailer that introduced Eragon and the dragon in its egg. The day before, the children had worked in pairs to come up with adjectives and similes to describe a picture of a dragon, whilst also coming up with a name, such a Star Fly, Green Wing and Flame.
After watching the clip I asked the children to create a description of their dragon in the style of Paolini. I was so impressed with the writing that the children produced, but I was more impressed with the fact that they had been inspired. Inspiration can come from anything, be it a picture, word or experience. For me as a teacher, it is through inspiring our children that we achieve the best results. There is nothing better than seeing a set of 30 inspired children striving for their personal best. Hearing the buzz of children talking about their use of similes or having conversations about what adjectives to use highlights how proud the children are of their writing. Their compliments to each other on different phrases was also lovely to hear.
Christopher Paolini himself has also took an interest in year 2’s work this week on Twitter. We tweeted him a Pic collage of some of our dragon vocabulary, which he added onto his Twitter feed to share with his followers. We have also sent him some of our descriptions to see what he thinks. Year 2 were thrilled that he had acknowledge their efforts and I think it is wonderful that the children’s source of inspiration has been able to use technology to acknowledge their efforts and inspire them to develop their writing further.