Five Minute Fast Starts
The Five Minute Fast Start exercise has gone viral and about 98% of teachers coming to our seminars have already heard or used it. They love it!
Here’s a different take on that very popular activity.
Many kids are visual learners…particularly boys.
So the new challenge is this:
Write five Sizzling Starts for five photos.
Check out these Sizzling Starts, and see how they incorporate many of the other Seven Steps techniques as well. That’s the wonderful versatility of writing to engage the reader.
The sexiest man on the planet, George Clooney, was just five metres away. I was trying to take photos, trying to look cool, OMG, OMG he was walking right up to me! (Step 3: Tightening Tension)
“No. No. NO! Are you insane? I’m not jumping out of a plane!”
“You’ll love it,” said my tandem instructor.
Was he kidding? (Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue.)
The music was blaring and I was sweating and panicking in lycra ten metres high in the air. There were over 300 people on the ground, looking up, clapping, and expecting miracles. The miracle was that I was not going to throw up on them or back out. An announcer in over-excited tones was saying my name, but the thumping in my heart and the drumming in my ears was the loudest thing I could hear. (Step 5: Show, Dont Tell)
Elephants mainly just plod around and you sit and admire the view. Then they put me in charge. Which means you kick them behind the ears and hope. Good luck to the tourists I was about to pick up. (Step 6: Ban the Boring)
Who would have thought the Grand Canyon rim was so high? The altitude was hitting hard and I had nose bleeds. Ten miles and ten hours of walking straight up had come to this torture. As we stopped for yet another rest, a crow took off, soaring high and free. Lucky bird. My legs felt like lead and my head was throbbing. Yet at sunrise that morning, it had all seemed so easy. (Step 7: Exciting Endings)
Remember that Slum Dog Millionaire starts at the tension scene of the three questions and then backtracks. This is can be used by starting with the action and back-filling or starting with the end of the story entirely and ‘circling back’ to the beginning.
Have fun with your photos!
Form students into teams of 3-5.
Every team is responsible for running the Five Minute and Five Photo Challenge for the day.
Which means they have to:
1. Source photos to show to the class.
2. Decide on the final five.
3. Run the Photo Sizzling Starts activity for the day. The National Curriculum strongly emphasises verbal scaffolding and interaction. So at the end of the activity, get students in their teams to share their Sizzling Starts. Ask them to pick the best one for each photo.
4. Then the students in charge run a ‘competition’ from each team to see who has got the best Sizzling Start for the photo.
5. If you want to get synergy between other classrooms, students can Twitter or post on the intranet their winning entries.