How To Write Really Badly

Age Range: 5 - 11

Chester Howard can see Joe's project 'How to Write Neatly' can only be a disaster. Joe makes a terrible mess of his work, jumbling letters and numbers up together. But a project called 'How to Write Really Badly' - now there's something Joe can do better than anyone else. And Chester is about to find there's a lot more to Joe than he expected...


Book Author: Anne Fine

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • Retell the story from Joe's point of view.
  • Write a school report about Joe and / or Chester.
  • Write a description of Chester which explains how he feels / behaves at the start of the story. Write another description which explains how he changes by the end of the story.
  • The children are all well behaved in the playground. Write some school / playground rules to help Chester learn how everyone behaves.
  • Make your own 'How To' book (i.e. instructions) which explain how to do something. This could be something that you enjoy doing already or something that you cannot do and would like to learn yourself.
  • Look at different types of instructions (e.g. recipes, instruction booklets, tutorials). When and why do people use them?
  • Practise your handwriting! Could you make a poster to show Joe what neat handwriting looks like?
  • Chester helps Joe with his work by giving him mnemonics... simple tricks and rhymes to help him to remember things. Can you find all of the mnemonics in the book and make a poster to teach them to other people?
  • Joe isn't very good at using punctuation accurately. Could you explain to a friend what each type of punctuation is and when we use them?

Maths

  • In Chapter 8, Joe makes some mistakes with his Maths. Can you explain what these were and suggest ways of helping him?

Design Technology

  • Design a new rubbish bin for Joe to throw away his rubbish when he tidies his tray!
  • Find out about some of the models that Joe has made. Could you make your own versions, using similar or different materials?
  • Design a 'screen' like the one that Joe creates, to give children more privacy when they are working independently.

PSHE

  • Imagine that you were Chester on his first day at school. How would you be feeling? What could the teacher and other children do to help you?
  • Joe and Chester both have different talents and difficulties. Can you explain what they are? Can you explain what your own talents / difficulties are?
  • Chester sometimes gets distracted when Joe is working. Do you get distracted in the classroom? How can you try not to get distracted in the future?
  • Organise your own 'Open Day Awards' and think of different awards / prizes to give out. In your class, who would receive each award and why?
  • Joe and Chester become good friends throughout the story. Can you find the different ways that they help each other?

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