Friday, 23 September 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Creative Writing Ideas


I heard about this book a couple of weeks ago and have been fascinated with it ever since. I particularly love the use of  spooky, old photographs in the book and as a teacher, the idea of a home or school for 'peculiar' children.

So what is the book about?
A teenage boy (Jacob) travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he finds the ruins of an old house; Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. Who were these children? Why were they there? Why were they 'peculiar'?

This is the link for the offical trailer to the film and it will give you a little taste of what is to come! 

I then began to think about how the book and it's wonderful photographs could be used as starting points for creative writing. In particular, writing prompts for Key Stage 3 (11-14 year olds) students.

Here are some ideas:

1) Using photographs from the book as stimuli.:

These three photographs come from the book. I won't tell you who they are, I will leave that up to you to imagine. What are their names? Why are they at Miss Peregrine's home? Why are the two younger children dressed as clowns? Where have they come from? What happens to them all?

2) Using your own photographs as stimuli:

Here are three old photographs from my own collection. I can already see a story evolving. Who are the family on the left? What has happened to them? How old is the house? Where is the house? Is it empty? Who are three girls? What are their names? Have they been to school? Or are they going to school?

3) Using the set of the house as a starting point for descriptive writing.

Imagine you have arrived at the house for the first time. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Who else is there? How do you feel?

4) Imagine you have been asked to interview Miss Peregrine. What questions would you ask her? How might she reply? Are you nervous? Is she scary?

5) Write a diary entry as if you are Jacob. Write about the first time you lay eyes on Miss Peregrine, or one of the 'peculiar' children. What time of day or night do you meet them?How do you feel? How do they react to you? Do you want to run away from them? Are they friendly?

6) Check out the offical website of the author Ransom Riggs, to find out more about him, his books and read the opening chapter from Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.

All of these ideas can be done at home and will help your child with their English writing skills.

If you want to take it further, you can use one of the central themes to start a discussion or a prompt for a piece of non fiction writing.

The book has a lot of deeper messages within it, two of these being:
1) Tolerance/ tolerating people who are different.
2) Persecution / treatment of Jews during World War ( Jacob's Polish grandfather escapes the Jews during WWII).

I would love to see any of your work that comes from these ideas. It might be a piece of writing or a picture, but feel free to send it to us at:

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