Dracula's To-Do List

poem by Juli Mayer , illustrated by Christopher Nielsen

Learning intention:

I am learning to use prior knowledge to analyse information contained in a poem so that I can extend my ability to interpret texts.


Success criteria:

  • I can recall facts about vampires
  • I can identify the way the author has used these facts creatively in the text
  • I can use facts about another character to compose my own poem.


Prior to reading the poem, discuss students’ prior knowledge of Dracula. Explain that they may be aware of the Count Dracula or other vampire characters from books, TV shows or movies such as The Little Vampire, Sesame Street or Hotel Transylvania. Watch the video Monsterpedia - Dracula for further context.


Read the poem, or if you have a digital subscription, you may wish to listen to the audio version. Discuss the reasons for the items on Dracula’s to-do list based on students’ knowledge of the character. Answers may include:

  • He sleeps in a coffin
  • He wears a black suit and shiny shoes
  • He keeps his hair neat
  • He needs his teeth to be strong
  • His skin is pale and sensitive to sunlight
  • He pursues people to suck their blood.





Brainstorm a list of other spooky fictional characters, such as:

  • A mummy
  • A werewolf
  • Frankenstein
  • A witch
  • A ghost

Inform students that they should choose a spooky character and brainstorm a to-do list for them based on what students know from previous texts they have read or watched. If possible, allow students to research their characters using junior fiction library books or online sources. Students should then write a short poem using the items on their list. Model an example of planning and writing, such as:


A Witch

  • Casts spells
  • Wears a pointy hat and pointy shoes
  • Has a black cat
  • Rides a broomstick
  • Has a wart on her nose


Sew the brim on pointy hat

Get some mince to feed the cat

Clean the bristles on the broom

Cast a spell to cause some doom

Sharpen the shoes’ pointy toes

Roughen wart on tip of nose


For further ideas on developing the writing process in the classroom, please refer to “How to Write Spooky Stories for Kids” and “Teaching Spooky Writing in the Classroom” on The School Magazine social media channels, these writers tips can be used in the creation of success criteria.