English KS3: Michael Morpurgo on storywriting

Before an audience of 400 young people, best-selling author Michael Morpurgo reveals some of the techniques that shape his writing.

Michael explains the importance to him of writing in the first person, why it is vital to find a story's point of view and voice and why aspiring writers must talk their stories on to the page.

He describes how he came to write the novels War Horse and Private Peaceful and reads from the latter, a powerful novel inspired by the execution for cowardice of more than 300 British soldiers during World War I.

This clip is from the series How to Write.

Teacher Notes

Can be used to show students the importance of researching before starting any creative writing.

Students are set the task of making a visit to somewhere they have never been before, for example; a museum, historical place, library, unusual shop or interviewing a family member about something from their lives, which they knew very little about before this time.

Students can record photos and conversations on mobile phones or jotters.

Students can bring these into the classroom to form the basis for inspiration for new stories.

Can students use some of the narrative techniques which Michael Morpurgo outlines, to help them begin to fill the blank page?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.