BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 October 2014
Schools - Teachers

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Schools Home > Teachers > KS2 Lesson Plans > English > Story writing

Story writing - lesson plan

Print page


Malorie Blackman

  1. To understand the structure of a story.
  2. To develop strategies for building suspense and tension.
  3. To develop character through description, action and dialogue.

National Curriculum

En3, 2a, 2b.


You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

Teaching activities

Class Work

  1. Read the Bitesize story planning pages.
  2. Revisit the story structure, story mountain and story planning framework. Ask the children what they remember about each of the different phases of the story mountain? Where and how do the authors describe the character and setting and set the mood for the story?
  3. Explore a range of online story openings: Learning Zone Class Clips - Story openings: Hardridge Hall, Learning Zone Class Clips - Adventure opening: Luke Jackson, Learning Zone Class Clips - Mystery opening: The Kid and Learning Zone Class Clips - Story openings: The Letter.
  4. Discuss each story as a class. What type of story is it? How do the children know this? Talk about the characters introduced and the events that unfold during each clip. Begin to unravel how the mood is created and how suspense and tension are introduced and developed.
  5. Use Learning Zone Class Clips - Malorie Blackman's top tips for story writing to explore the development of suspense and tension. Make a list of these strategies as a class for the children to use in their own stories.

Group/Pair work

  1. Ask the children to work with a partner to plan a story and write the story opening.
  2. Explain that they need to develop the setting and characters, concentrating on including strategies for building suspense and tension into the early events.
  3. Explain to the children that they should use some of the ideas they have seen in the clips.


  1. Share with the class some of the story openings created by the children.
  2. Split the class into teams and answer the Bitesize story planning quiz.


Ask the children to play the Bitesize story planning activity, choosing the right words to set the mood for a story, and/or to complete the Story writing worksheet (PDF 1.36MB).

Back to top 

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy