The Ghastly Ghost Ride

play by Philippa Werry , illustrated by Aśka

Learning intention:  

I am learning to identify ways we use language for different purposes so that my writing can be more effective for its intended audience. 

Success criteria: 

  • I can identify the language that is used the text to create a particular effect 
  • I can explain how descriptive language creates imagery for the audience 
  • I can use my own ideas to create descriptive writing for an intended audience 

Essential knowledge: 

More information about using language to build imagery can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Connotation, Imagery & Symbol. 

Assign roles to students and read or act out the play. Following this, ask students what kind of audience Sneaky Sid and Tricky Terry were trying to appeal to (people who enjoy scary rides) and what words and phrases they used to get them interested in going on the Ghastly Ghost Train. Answers may include: 

  • Spooky 
  • Shiver and quiver 
  • Your legs will turn to jelly 
  • Scared out of your skin 
  • It’ll give you nightmares for weeks 
  • Your teeth will chatter 
  • Your nerves will be shattered 
  • Five minutes of absolute terror 

Discuss the difference in impact in using descriptive phrases such as these, rather than just telling people the ride is scary. 

Students should then work with a partner or small group to produce their own idea for a ride. Unlike Sneaky Sid and Tricky Terry, their ride should be a real one and not something to swindle people out of their money. Once they have settled on an idea, they should figure out who their ride will appeal to (e.g. it may be a wild rollercoaster for thrill-seekers, or a calm merry–go-round for small children). They should then brainstorm what words and phrases they should use to communicate what people would like about the ride.  

Inform students that they are to imagine they are the owners of the ride and they need to stand in front of it and convince people to have a turn. They should write a short script for this scenario and perform it for the class.