The Waggling of Keithus

part one of a two-part story by Geoffrey McSkimming , illustrated by Gabriel Evans

Learning Intention: 

I can identify key details in a narrative so that I can experiment with and extend on the ideas of the author in a sequel. 

Success Criteria: 

  • I can summarise a narrative identifying major events and significant details. 
  • I can plan a sequel to the narrative with a consideration of text continuity. 
  • I can incorporate the fantastical and nonsense vocabulary of the author to incorporate aspects of their style. 

Essential knowledge: 

  • More information about narrative structure can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Narrative.  

Prior to reading the story, draw students’ attention to the byline. Ask them to identify what is unusual: it is part one of a two-part story. Then ask them what they expect at the conclusion of this part. Predictions might include that the story ends with unanswered questions, on a cliffhanger, and has several feasible options for part two.  

Introduce students to the concept of a sequel using the Collins’ Dictionary definition. Then brainstorm famous sequels (The Gruffalo’s Child, the Harry Potter series, Toy Story 2).  

Generate a class list of the features of a successful sequel. These could include:  

  • Picks up where the story last left off 
  • Includes main characters from previous instalments  
  • Is set in the same world  
  • May introduce new characters or further details 

You may also want to introduce the concept of continuity: a consistency of people, plot, objects and places over a period of time.  

Explain to students that they will write a sequel, or part two of the story. As they read the text ask them to consider the following:  

  • What are the key details about the characters, setting and plot that need to be included in part two?  
  • What is key vocabulary (including nonsense words) that should also feature in a sequel? 
  • What are the unanswered questions that need to be answered in the second instalment?  

After reading part one, students collate the above information on Read Write Think’s graphic organiser The Narrative Pyramid. Instruct students to include as much detail as possible. For example, Mr. Erasmus is wise, old and has lived in his thatched-roof home for many years. Explain that a consideration of textual detail will ensure continuity. Also, ask students to collect a list of 5 – 10 words used in the text that they will also use in their sequel, for example, blurted and zitheringly.  

Finally, before students write their sequel, display a list of unanswered questions that students need to consider. The first three feature in the call out box at the end of the text. Other potential questions include:  

  • Who is Keithus?  
  • Why is he waggling? 

After students have written their sequel, they read their peers’ work. Students should compare their interpretation and prediction of events, based on the official sequel, appearing in the next issue.