Gory Gladiators at Patcham Juniors

A couple of weeks ago, Patcham Juniors’ adopted author, Sarah Lean set the class a writing task. They had to describe a setting, lets read her email below:

I hope you found the mind maps useful to collect some ideas.

The setting is the place where things happen.

Leo imagines he is an amphitheatre, fighting bears or the gladiator of old, wearing a helmet

and with crowds cheering him on.

Imagine an amphitheatre…

In stories, a writer needs to think about the setting using all the senses: SIGHT, HEARING, SMELL, TASTE AND TOUCH, and also what it FEELS LIKE to be in a place.

Write a couple of paragraphs about a gladiator who is waiting underground and then comes into the amphitheatre to face their enemy. Describe what they would see, hear, smell, taste and what things are like to touch. It’s also important to know how they feel in that place. No need to do a battle scene, but concentrate on describing the place as fully as possible.

Things to think about:

What might a bear or lion smell like?

What does a huge crowd sound like?

How big is the amphitheatre?

What do the walls of the cells underground feel like to touch?

How does it feel to be wearing a helmet? Can the gladiator see clearly?

How does it feel to come out of the cold shadows underground to a hot arena?

The responses were fantastic as always and actually pretty gory! Here are two of our favourites:

Now, the pieces are gory, but also atmospheric and quite vivid! It’s almost like a film script, you can just imagine how the gladiator is feeling in that moment. How fantastic.

Well done Year 3 and I think Sarah agreed:

Dear Year 3

Thank you for showing me your work. I am impressed by the sense of danger and fear that you have all described in the anxious moments before a gladiator has to go out into the amphitheatre. Using all the senses brings the writing to life to conjure up a terrifying moment.

Herbie created super tension with the questions the gladiator is asking himself, something a writer works hard to do. And what a dramatic moment for the gladiator to be faced with his son!

George’s description sounded like poetry, as did Isobel’s, which really conjured up the feel of the arena. There were some vivid descriptions, and I especially liked Bertie’s range of smells and the lovely image of light through the bars of the cage from Isaac, as well as Lewis’s alliteration of smashing swords.

Isabella asked good questions of the gladiator in her letter to get a whole range of the experience of the gladiator, and I thought it was a super idea from Jane to have the gladiator write to his mother as it turned the writing instantly into an emotional read.

Well done everyone. I hope you enjoyed it.



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