All across Australia, people are gearing up for the footy Grand Final. Whether you’re footy mad or a rugby nut, the end of the season is full of excitement and anticipation. Bring some finals fever back into the classroom at the start of Term 4 with a Grand Final inspired writing lesson.

Based on the Final Eight System used by both the AFL and the NRL, this lesson involves splitting the class into eight teams which then compete against each other for a place in the Grand Final. Each round references a specific Step and extra credit is given for any examples of Dynamic Dialogue and Show, Don’t Tell.

Learn the theory of the Seven Steps in a Workshop One: Seven Steps to Transform Writing

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Instructions

ROUNDSTEPINSTRUCTIONSWHO WINS?
RankingStep 1: Plan for Success
  • Divide the class into eight teams and ask them to come up with a team name.
  • Give them TWO minutes to brainstorm as many ideas as they can for the topic: Grand Final.
  • Give the teams an additional FIVE minutes to pick their best idea and plan out a story using the ‘Narrative Story Graph’ template.
  • Teams get a point for each idea that they came up with in the brainstorm and these points are used to rank the teams from 1st to 8th position.
  • Display the ‘Seven Steps Finals System’ template on the whiteboard and enter the names of the teams in the appropriate boxes.
Finals WeekStep 2: Sizzling Starts
  • Give the eight teams TWO minutes to write a Sizzling Start for their story based on their plan.
  • Remind students to start with action or at a moment of change, not at the start of the week/day/match when nothing of interest is happening.
  • Ask each pair of competing teams to read out their Sizzling Starts and get the other teams to vote on which one was best in each instance.
  • In the event of a draw, the teacher has the deciding vote.
  • The results of the vote will determine which TWO teams go straight through to the Preliminary Finals, which FOUR teams progress to the Semi Finals, and which TWO teams are eliminated.
  • Enter the names of the teams in the appropriate boxes in your ‘Seven Steps Finals System’ template.
Semi FinalsStep 6: Ban the Boring
  • Give the four teams in the Semi Finals TWO minutes to Ban the Boring and rewrite their Sizzling Start.
  • Suggest adding dialogue or using Show, Don’t Tell to make their Sizzling Start more dynamic and engaging.
  • Ask each pair of competing teams to read out their revised Sizzling Starts and get the other teams to vote on which one was best in each instance.
  • In the event of a draw, the teacher has the deciding vote.
  • The results of the vote will determine which TWO teams progress to the Preliminary Finals and which TWO teams are eliminated.
  • Enter the names of the teams in the appropriate boxes in your ‘Seven Steps Finals System’ template.
Preliminary FinalsStep 3: Tightening Tension
  • Give the four teams in the Preliminary Finals FOUR minutes to write the tension scene for their story based on their plan.
  • Prompt students to use the Five + 1 Senses to make the reader feel like they are really there.
  • Ask each pair of competing teams to read out their tension scene and get the other teams to vote on which one was best in each instance.
  • In the event of a draw, the teacher has the deciding vote.
  • The results of the vote will determine which TWO teams progress to the Grand Final and which TWO teams are eliminated.
  • Enter the names of the teams in the appropriate boxes in your ‘Seven Steps Finals System’ template.
Grand FinalStep 7: Exciting Endings
  • Give the two teams in the Grand Final TWO minutes to write an ending for their story that ties together their Sizzling Start and their tension scene.
  • Remind students to include the character resolution as well as the action climax.
  • Ask the two competing teams to read out their endings and get the other teams to vote on which one was best.
  • In the event of a draw, the teacher has the deciding vote.
  • The results of the vote will determine which team has won the Grand Final.

Extra credit: Remind students at each round to look for any examples of Dynamic Dialogue and Show, Don’t Tell and take this into consideration when voting.

At the end of the five rounds you will have a Grand Final winner. Display a final version of their winning story on the classroom wall along with the completed ‘Seven Steps Finals System’ template.

May the best team win!

Download the Seven Steps Finals System template.

To access more detailed instructions for each round and the ‘Narrative Story Graph’ template, become a Teacher Hub Essentials member – unlock your free trial today!

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