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Literacy problems to solve for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3

Key Stage 1 and 2  Wordswork!

Print and cut out both sets. Pick one from Set A and one from Set B to create a sentence. How many sentences can you create? They can be as funny as you like so long as they obey the rules of a sentence.

Set A
The small brown dog
A large black car
Nine small ducks
The whole football team
Peter and Jenny
Norbert, the dragon
A large, gray elephant

Set B
ran after the ball.
zoomed round the corner.
rushed onto the field.
flapped his great, gray, wings.
waddled slowly towards the pond.
were climbing over the gate.
sat in the tree.

Key Stage 3           Wordswork!


This passage is the second paragraph from Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House.

Work with a partner to read it aloud together a couple of times before you start to answer the questions. Try to make your reading as atmospheric as possible.

Fog everywhere. fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping, and the waterside pollution of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex Marshes; fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeps into the caboose of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boas. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the fireside of the wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the fingers and toes of his shivering little prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets in to a nether sky of fog, with fog all around them , as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.

  1. None of the 'sentences' in this paragraph are complete sentences.
    1. Read the passage aloud again, but make each sentence a complete sentence by:
      • putting the words 'There was' at the beginning of each of the first five sentences
      • putting the words 'and there was' after each semi-colon(;)
      • putting the words 'There were' at the beginning of sentence 6.
    2. Discuss together:
      • How does it sound?
      • Why do you think dickens chose to write this paragraph in incomplete sentences?
  2. a. How many times is the word fog repeated?

    b. What is the effect of repeating fog so many times?

  3. a. How many words are there in each 'sentence'?

    b. Discuss together:

  4. What is the effect of having such short 'sentences' with such long ones?
  5. Is there any pattern in the length of the 'sentences'?
  6. Each 'sentence' except the last has the same basic structure: Fog + where the fog is.

Discuss together:

    • What is the effect of repeating the same sentence structure over and over again?
    • What is the effect of making the last 'sentence' different?

5. 'Sentence' 2 is in two sections.

  1. What content can you find between the two sections of the 'sentence'?
  2. Are there similar contrasts in any other 'sentences'?

6. a. What verbs are used to describe the fog's actions? e.g. creeping

b. What verbs are used to describe the people's actions? e.g. peeping

c. What impression do these verbs give?

7. Have a go at writing your own description in a similar style:

  • You might repeat the word gloom, and describe school on the day before exams begin.
  • You might repeat the words excitement, and describe school on the day a soap star visits.
  • You might repeat the word snow, and describe a winter day in your town.
  • You might repeat the word mice, and describe a plague in school.

Wordswork was from North East Lincolnshire's Literacy Team


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Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3



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