The Peculiar Paintbox

story by Katie Furze , illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

Learning intention:

I am learning to use the inspiration of other texts as well as my imagination to compose my own engaging stories so that I can further develop my narrative writing skills.


Success criteria:

  • I can discuss and understand the purpose and plot of a narrative text that I have read.
  • I can consider what my own experience may be if I were in the same situation as the characters in a story.
  • I can compose my own narrative text based on an idea from a story.


Essential knowledge:

The School Magazine’s English Textual Concept video for ‘Narrative’ may be used to help get students started in their writing. The assessment and evaluation rubric for imaginative texts may also be used for guidance.


After reading the story, discuss the different experiences of Molly and Nico in their two respective paintings, highlighting the calm experience Molly has in her garden painting contrasted with the fear and anxiety of the situation inside Nico’s monster painting.

Ask students to consider what kind of picture they would like to jump into if they had the chance. This may be something relaxing like a beach scene, something funny like a circus painting, or something adventurous like a picture of a pirate ship.

Inform students that they are to create an illustration on a blank A4 piece of paper that they would like to jump into. Explain that it should not just be a picture of one thing (e.g., an aeroplane), but they should also completely fill in the background and consider who else they might want to have in their picture.

Once they have completed their illustration, they should write a story about their adventure in the picture from their own point of view. They should consider what it would feel like to be inside the picture, what surroundings they have created for themselves, and what scenarios might take place while they’re in there.

Once completed, students should share their stories and illustrations with the class.


Assessment for learning:

Using the See three before me assessment strategy and the success criteria for this lesson, allow time for students to engage in this peer assessment feedback process designed to provide opportunities for children to learn better and reflects the belief that there is always room for improvement.