Strange but (almost) True

play by Bill Condon , illustrated by Craig Phillips

Learning intentions:

I am learning to edit for meaning by adding, deleting or moving words or word groups so that I can improve the quality of my writing.


Success criteria:

  • I can use information from fiction texts to write non-fiction texts using appropriate language.
  • I can revise my writing to improve the overall flow of the piece.
  • I can evaluate my peers’ work by reviewing grammar and spelling.


After reading the play, explain that students will be creating fact files of Eddy’s inventions (smart phone, GPS, waterjammers). Each invention will have a paragraph of information and an accompanying illustration. Ask students what differences they will see between their fact file and the play (answers include: formal language in the fact file, no use of first-person point of view in the fact file, no conversation in the fact file). Encourage students to use their creative license and add extra information that wasn’t included in the source material.


In their workbooks, students write a draft of their fact files for each invention. A sample text is below:

In his early life, Edwoodius invented the GPS – the Great Pompeii Sandwich. This delicious meal consisted of goat’s meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato between two slices of rye bread, and was commonly eaten at midday. The people of Pompeii would line up for hours to purchase a sandwich until they realised, they could make their own. Variations of the contents inevitably followed. A favourite addition to the GPS was hot mustard.


Invite several students to share their work with the class. Discuss with contributing students how they might rephrase their writing to make it flow better or enhance meaning. Ask the rest of the class for their input. For example, if a student has written “The smart phone was a shell you talked into very loudly”, a suggested change could be “Edwoodius’s invention, known as the smart phone, was a large shell that the user shouted into.” Go through a few suggestions to give the class several examples of how to improve their work.


Students rewrite each of their paragraphs to improve flow and meaning. When complete, they can swap with a partner for feedback. Partners should ensure the new wording is better in quality and that all spelling, punctuation and grammar is correct.


Students create a published copy of their fact file by using quarters of A4 paper. Encourage them to label their illustrations.