Sometimes less is more - take the wonderful 100 word challenge website. It is a perfect length to showcase writing but again provides a constraint in that children have to be concise, choose words effectively and with purpose.
Some of the most creative web videos I have seen recently have come from Vine. A website/app that only allows people to create videos that are 6 seconds in length. On paper sounds ridiculous, how would that be popular? entertaining? Yet this constraint has produced some of the most creative videos I have seen lately. Click for some examples. Again there is no reason why this can't be set as a task with children - create a 6 second video to sum up a book, poem, lesson!
Today, I tried a new type of constraint which really challenged the children but also got them excited about their writing. I came across this picture a while ago on facebook which sparked this idea:
Red Riding Hood
First of all,my mum had to WAKE ME UP for me to go to Grandma’s house. I set off riding my DARK HORSE ,I felt like a MILLION POUND GIRL: the sun was shining , birds are tweeting , EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! I saw the ROYAL’S palace and I could hear TRUMPETS. On my journey, while I was daydreaming and COUNTING STARS, I got lost. If I LOSE MYSELF TONIGHT, I thought, I would be WAITING ALL NIGHT! WHAT NOW?
All of a sudden I heard a DIBBY DIBBY SOUND ,a voice said “HEY BROTHER, why are you CRYING FOR NO REASON?"
“I’m sorry I’d RATHER BE on my own, I’m going to my grandma’s to STAY THE NIGHT.” Little did I know the wolf was a MONSTER and one of the DEMONS... OF THE NIGHT. Sneakily, he got to Grandma’s first, she was POWERLESS and the wolf gobbled her up faster than a TSUNAMI, this is the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! The wolf thought.
I arrived at the door unlocked, I shouted Grandma but all was silent "Grandma SAY SOMETHING,” I shouted.
“MY LOVE” a peculiar voice came from the bedroom. I walked in, "are you ok?"
”I’m not really FEELING MYSELF” my Gran responded.
"Why what big eyes and ears you have” I exclaimed
"GOODNESS GRACIOUS, LET IT GO," said Grandma, “I’ve had enough on my plate today,” said Grandma (or so she called herself.)
With a loud ROAR the wolf jumped out at me “don’t eat ALL OF ME
And that was the STORY OF MY LIFE!