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Day 45 - Goblins (creative ideas for home schooling)

For anyone new to this blog, the idea is simple - each day my boys (Joshua - 9 and Archie - 8) choose a stimulus that drives the learning. We hope that you enjoy the blog and can take some inspiration from what we love doing - making learning as engaging as possible!



For anyone looking for engaging resources to support home-schooling in English, do make sure that you have downloaded the Talk for Writing booklets:

In the final round of booklets, Kathryn Pennington will be exploring the world of goblins. Today's blog is just one of her fabulous ideas that she kindly shared with me and the boys. We have had such fun getting under the skin of a goblin.

We hope you enjoy!


English / Art

  • Information texts

  • Rhetorical questions

  • Generalisers

  • Comparatives / superlatives

  • Subjunctive

Have you ever wondered what lies at the heart of an evil character? Have you stopped to think what is under the skin? Well, Inside The Villains is an amazing pop-up book that reveals the secrets of the most famous fairytale villains: giants, wolves and witches.

Underneath the clothes and skin of these villains, their inner-most secrets are revealed. Today's blog is inspired by this amazing book – thanks Kathryn Pennington for the idea!

We began by drawing our goblins. The boys love these teach yourself to draw youtube channels, and found this one:

With the goblins drawn, we then started to cut away their bodies, clothes and skin to reveal what was underneath. Top tip - if you have access to a scalpel then this makes the process much easier (adult supervision required).

We then stuck a blank piece of paper underneath and started the really fun part - deciding what lurked underneath the clothes and skin of a goblin. As you would expect, the boys had some truly disgusting ideas!

Here are the initial drawings and then the templating as we began to open up the bodies:

To aid the writing, we used a variety of fronted adverbials and sentence signposts that are rich in information writing. These included:

Adding on: Additionally,... Also,... Furthermore,... Moreover,...

Adverbs to engage: Amazingly,... Intriguingly,... Surprisingly,... Interestingly,... Weirdly,...

Generalisers: Most / Many / A few / All / The vast majority of / Usually,...

Change direction: However,... On the other hand,... Although,...

Would you know ... if you saw one?

Nearly all of them …

However, …

Furthermore, …

It is well known that

Additionally, …

A minority/majority

Most of them …

Also, …

Finally, the most amazing thing about… is that…

Here are the amazing outcomes - I just love the idea behind this and know you will have fun getting under the skin of your own villains and beasts.


Spear Goblins by Archie

Would you know a Spear Goblin if you saw one? Nearly all of them have green skin, red eyes and orange teeth, but do you know what lies beneath the surface?

If you were to look inside a Spear Goblin's head, you would find a crazy computer. However, unlike most useful machines, this one is useless! As a result, Spear Goblins don't know anything!

Open up the ear and you will find some bendy bark. It is a well-known fact that Spear Goblins are completely deaf.

Amazingly, Spear Goblins have hideous hair underneath their skin. But this is not all. You may not know but they have axes that grow from their hands. Weirdly, the axe chops their hands off every seven years. Fortunately, a new hand grows back, bigger and better than before.

The most extraordinary thing about Spear Goblins is that they keep a black widow inside their belly. Incredibly, they are immune to the poison but they love being tickled!

Should you look beneath a goblin's shorts, you will find sparkly purple pants. There are lots of aliens searching the lands for pants like these so they never take them off. Peugh!

Finally, a Spear Goblins' feet are as smelly as mouldy cheese. Normally, you will find mice nibbling their tangled toenails.

So never go running in to Spear Goblin as there is a lot beneath the surface that you do not want to see. Trust me!


Spear Goblins by Joshua

Did you know that Spear Goblins are considered to be the most disgusting animal on the planet? On the outside, they look like green, disgusting slime. However, on the inside they are in fact nice, friendly creatures.

Slit its head open and you will find an aquarium of friendly sea creatures crowding together. This makes Spear Goblins very confused all of the time.

Before we open its ear, be warned - you might find something really disgusting. Peeling back the skin, you will see mouldy mushrooms covered in ear wax and wriggly worms slithering everywhere.

Most Spear Goblins have very rude manners. Open up their mouths and you will hear monstrous burps that are as loud as thunder.

Interestingly, a Spear Goblin's belly is in two halves. One half is full of tasty fruit (this is because they love eating any fruit that they can get their grimy hands on). The other side is full of wildlife, including slimy slugs, curly snails, tickly spiders and rainbow-coloured woodlice. What a disgusting diet!

But that's not all. Spear Goblins keep rabbits in their underpants. You may be wondering why they do this...the truth is that no-one knows. Perhaps it helps them to bounce up and down.

Remember - Spear Goblins are extremely naughty, especially with their weapons, so watch out!


Here are the Spear Goblins with all of their disgusting qualities revealed:


If you are enjoying this blog, please do share it and spread the word. Thank you to all of you who have got in touch and shared some of the outcomes from what you have tried - we love to hear from you.

Do tune in tomorrow where we exploring:


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.

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