Rather than use something related to love and care because it was Valentines Day I went for the much grimmer, “Last Man” A video about being the ‘apparently’ last man on the planet.
The video starts with a simple introduction and then gives the chance for using a flashforward.
Prompts for developing writing (before they actually start!)
00:11 – Who is he? What is he doing? Who does he work for? What clues do we have that can help us distinguish what he might be doing?
00:20 – Who is at the door? How might the story unfold from here?
00:29 – What is the report on? Is it the next top secret mission? A new cancer drug?
(You could stop the video here and get the children to write what the report might be).
00:40 – Who is on the phone? Does this have something to do with the report? What could the conversation turn out like? (Role play the conversation in pairs and share with the class… See where their imaginations take them)
00:49 (Don’t overrun as this will spoil it) How could everyone be dying? What might have happened? What is he thinking?
Develop vocab and look at emotion word, (comma) sentence. E.g. Shocked, I dropped the phone and got home as fast as I could. Terrified, I stayed in my office and locked the door – I didn’t want to die.
From here get the children to make notes on the different things they hear him say and see him do. These will be discussion points at the end and will be needed for when they do their writing.
01:39 “Everyday is the same” – Why do we think everyday is the same? What types of things does he have to do everyday in order to survive? If he is all alone what kinds of things might he be doing?
03:28 Sometimes I think/wonder, “Why me?” Have a go at the ‘Many Questions Sentence’ from Alan Peats Exciting Sentences (http://www.thecepress.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=60) Why me? Why not a scientist? A doctor? Why just me? How was I immune to the disease?
From here watch it till 5:29 – DO NOT GO PAST HERE!
At this point I plan for the children to begin writing their diary/story of the man and what his daily life is like.
Use the video to write the opening and the diary entry of a normal day. (Prompt the children to make sure they include lots of thoughts and feelings in a similar way to the narrator in the video)
It was a day like every other: phone calls, reports, meetings and unnecessary emails from colleagues looking to get one over me. Office work, not exactly what I dreamed of when I was younger. I remember it so vividly. My wife (Jane) had stayed at home that day (normally she’d be at work in the office with me). The new report about a potentially life-threatening virus had just been completed and delivered to me. That’s when it happened. The phone rang. Time stood still. It was Jane, “Everybody is dying, come home quick!” she pleaded. “Please hurry!” Without thinking, I picked everything up and ran home.
Everyone was dead, but not me. I still think about this every day. Why me? Why not a scientist or a doctor? A biologist? Why little old office worker me?
It’s been a few years since that fateful day that changed the evolution of the human race. Luckily, all the bodies have decomposed and vanished from the streets and houses around me. I’m the only one around…. Etc etc
Allow the children time to think carefully about the everyday life and enourage them to think about other things that he will have to do everyday just to survive.
Once all writing is completed (or they think is completed) Show the final part. Now it is up to them to write the ending.
Walking home after a long day rummaging for supplies, a light appeared in a house….. How can that be? Who is there? I thought I was the only one! Cautiously, I approached the house and broke down the door. What stood before me is something I could not believe.
Hope you enjoy this writing prompt. For other videos and prompts look further down my blog and also visit www.literacyshed.com
Please leave a comment and let me know how your writing goes in class if you use this prompt.
Prompts Used in Class (Alan Peat Sentences)
I'm a deputy head in Scarborough, England and love using media and tech to develop writing. I'm also a keen advocate of Learning Without Limits and believe in a games based approach to developing mathematicians.