At present, I am in the middle of a unit with my Year 8 English class that explores the transformation or adaptation of novels into films. We have been studying Brian Selznick's "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" and will soon be moving onto the evaluating how this has been translated onto the silver screen by Martin Scorsese.

As a bridge in between we have been composing short creative writing pieces, either in relation to images from the book, chosen images or pieces of music. I thought I'd share with you some of the examples of writing that my Year 8s have composed and how we have subsequently gone through them as a class and analysed how they have used different forms of imagery to creative variety and to make the piece more immersive and atmospheric.


The overwhelming smell of dust and dank mould filled Hugo’s nostrils as he settled himself before the automaton. [olfactory] Making himself comfortable upon a threadbare cushion, he heard the arrival of the 4pm express from Lyon penetrate through the myriad cracks in the floorboards beneath him.  [aural, tactile] The intense blank stare of the automaton bore deep into Hugo’s soul, filling him with regret and sadness for not having yet solved the riddle of his father’s final message. [visual, emotive] Chewing slowly on a purloined croissant as he went about his work of cleaning slowly rusting machine, the buttery taste of the pastry offered little solace to quench the deep fire rumbling in both his belly and his soul. [gustatory, visual, emotive]


This time around we looked to analyse use of more specific textual forms and features: 

  1. Describe a smell
  2. Describe a sound
  3. Describe a sight
  4. Describe a feeling
  5. Describe a taste – metaphorical

The noxious odour of train smoke coming led with the alluring scent of croissants and freshly brewed coffee to produce an assault on my nostrils [personification]. As I walked towards the station café, I could hear the growing crescendo [metaphor - balloon] of lively Jazz music emanating from within, the invisible tendrils of the band’s garrulous composition spreading throughout resonant corridors [metaphor – octopus – mixed metaphor] Suddenly, a sight too beautiful for words [hyperbole] fell upon my gaze [metaphor] as the proprietor’s young daughter exited the café’s front doors, holding a tray of still-warm pastries [descriptive language], her luxurious blond hair trailing elegantly behind her [personification] as she floated towards me [Biblical allusion]. My heart filled to bursting with desire [metaphor]. A joy that was all too short lived [high modality], as the bitter taste of reality soon descended upon me [metaphor], reminding me of my indolence and the scars of war I now bore upon my visage; a sight that would surely offend a delicate flower [metaphor] such as she.


Compose ANOTHER five sentence paragraph using the same structure about a place that you really enjoy visiting.

AuthorAnthony Bosco