Goth Girl

story by Wendy Graham , illustrated by Queenie Chan

Learning intention: 

I am learning to plan, draft and publish imaginative texts, using surprise techniques to make the ending of a story unique and unexpected, so that I can develop my skills with composing texts.  

Success criteria:  

  • I can analyse a text to discuss elements that make the ending unique and surprising.  
  • I can discuss ideas for surprising endings to well-known stories. 
  • I can incorporate my ideas into a brief new ending for the story.  

Read Goth Girl. Pause at the end of page 19 to discuss students' predictions about what is going on in the house, ensuring they note that Daniel heard multiple voices inside the home although no one saw anyone apart from Goth Girl enter. Some suggestions for ideas include:  

  • that people live inside the home and don’t leave 
  • that Goth Girl has frequent video calls with multiple people 
  • that Goth Girl is watching television 
  • that Daniel is imagining the voices 

Continue reading to the end and discuss the ending, drawing students' attention to the fact the multiple voices Daniel heard were due to the fact that Goth Girl is a ventriloquist. Ensure students note that it is surprising and unexpected. Discuss the impact this type of ending has on readers (it provides a surprise; it feels unique and unexpected). Discuss students’ opinions of the ending and their reasons for their opinions. Students will conclude that having a surprising ending is fun and unexpected.  

Inform students that they will be experimenting with constructing surprise endings to familiar stories. Discuss how the majority of fairy stories end (happily ever after). Identify a well-known story such as Little Red Riding Hood and discuss the ending (the woodcutter saves Little Red Riding Hood and Granny). Students may like to read or view the story Little Red Riding Hood. Tell students that the updated version of the story needs to end differently. Discuss ideas for surprising and unexpected endings:  

  • The wolf takes over the house 
  • The wolf eats Little Red Riding Hood 
  • Granny possesses superhuman strength and saves herself and Little Red Riding Hood 

Collaboratively compose a new ending for Little Red Riding Hood using the students’ ideas. Include dialogue, ensuring students can confidently punctuate quoted speech. A sample response is:   

When Little Red Riding Hood realised it was the wolf dressed in her grandmother’s clothes she began to scream.  

“Stop screaming,” the wolf hissed.  

“Never, I won’t let you eat me,” Little Red Riding Hood screeched.  

The wolf edged closer and Little Red Riding Hood backed away.  

“How about you and I make a deal?” the wolf said slyly.  

“Anything, anything, just please don’t eat me,” Little Red Riding Hood begged. 

“How about we work as a team, you can trick people to let us into their homes then I will eat them. You get to keep all the cakes and treats,” the wolf said, leaning so closely to Little Red Riding Hood she could hear his breath on her cheek.  

“Sure, anything, deal,” Little Red Riding Hood whispered.  

The pair shook hands and that was how a criminal partnership was formed.  

Place students in pairs or small groups. Instruct them to select a well-known story before discussing surprising ways it could end. Direct students to the webpage Examples of Fairy Tales: 17 Famous Stories to Know for summaries of well-known fairy tales if they need support with selecting a story to focus on.  

Instruct students to work with their group, discussing alternative ways to end the story before deciding on one to incorporate into a brief ending. Inform students that the first time they write their ending it will be a draft. Tell them that they will need to edit their work, specifically searching for ways to make their ending more unique and surprising before editing their stories.  

Collaboratively edit the ending composed as a class. For example, add in more description of the setting. Tell students to have fun with their ideas, providing suggestions such as making the grandmother’s house a modern-day palace or making the wolf old and unthreatening.