top of page

Blog Idea 70 – How to trap a cheeky elf (instructions)

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

This blog is designed to offer creative ideas that you can take back and try at home or in the classroom. It was born out of the time I spent educating my own boys over lockdown and aims to make the teaching and learning of English as engaging as possible!


Cheeky Elves

'Elf on the shelf' is a fascination amongst some children. The idea of finding the elf each day in new and surprising places is going to capture the magic that is Christmas for many.

As my children describe me...I am more of a Bah Humbug sort of chap. So today, I don't want to enjoy where they are hiding and what mischief they are up to...I want to plan how to trap the little blighters!



  • Instructions

  • Rhetorical questions

  • Imperative verbs

Any of you familiar to Talk for Writing, one of the absolute joys of the methodology is how non-fiction allows children to build confidence in the transferrable English, whilst relieving the pressure of knowledge. Some refer to this as 'faction' - a hybrid of non-fiction and fiction.

Today, as the boys were back at home with bubbles bursting left, right and centre, we had some fun writing a set of instructions on how to trap a cheeky Christmas Elf. This allowed for us to revisit lots of key grammar in context, such as rhetorical questions to hook the reader and imperative verbs to direct, etc. We had great fun coming up with the ideas and the boys then really enjoyed writing their own sets of instructions independently.

Here are the boys efforts:

Merry Christmas everyone!


I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog. If you have a great idea you would like to share, or would like inspiration for a short-burst writing idea that could become a new blog, please do not hesitate to get in touch. As my 4 year old constantly reminds me - sharing is caring.

My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and the Talk for Writing team for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.

This blog is copyright. All materials herein, texts and supporting resources are copyright to Jamie Thomas & Talk for Writing. They may be used to support children/staff/parents in home-learning ONLY and not for commercial gain or for training or sharing widely, in their original form or any variations. They must also not be shared online or on any social media platforms without prior permission.

906 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page