For Teachers

World Book Day Online Workshop

With all the craziness in the world, we can't get out to do writing workshops or author visits. Authors and schools have taken a hit to their budgets. So I thought I would create a free World Book Day lesson online using YouTube. 

It's a simplified version of my five sentence fairy tales workshop.

The video is here:

Here is the accompanying lesson plan, which you can copy-paste into your word processor:

Writing workshop – YouTube version


Target age:  9-12 


Support required:  Teacher or TA to help assist students who are stuck and to generally help make suggestions.


Learning outcomes:  Students should know more about the basics of storytelling and writing by the end of the lesson.   


PLEASE NOTE:  I have created this as a free resource while the world has gone crazy. I know that many schools and parents are struggling with money and tight budgets. If you can possibly afford it, please pay authors to do virtual visits and real life visits when it’s possible again. Most of my author income is from school visits (book royalties are tiny!) so please don’t use this to avoid paying authors when you do have the budget for it. Please also do not use this without my name attached, and without using my material, as this is part of my livelihood.


If you would like to support me, consider donating to my ko-fi here:


Or consider buying my books:











Even just checking out my YouTube channel would help a lot!



Copy and paste this into your word processor if you wish to keep a copy/print it out.




Timing:           Activity:


1-1                   Intro of myself and what the students will do today.  


2-3                   Pause the video to discuss where the students think authors get their ideas from.     .


4-6                   Unpause video.

                        Explain that ideas and inspiration come from everywhere. No matter what you come up with, you've been                              influenced by something you've seen in your life. Authors usually use one of two tactics when writing a                                  story - 1: They write what they know or 2: They do research. Usually they do both, starting out with what                               they know and then building on their knowledge.

                        We’ll be using fairy tales as a base for our writing today because everyone knows a

                        few fairy tales.


7-9                   Pause video.

                        Have the students write down 3 fairy tales that they know. Once everyone has 3, have

                        The students read out which fairy tales they have for the class. This is to generate lots of fairy tales for them                            to pick from for the writing exercise.


10-10               Unpause.

                        Explain that the students will be rewriting a fairytale into just 5 sentences. They will also change the fairytale                          to make it funny or go in an unexpected direction.


11-12               Play example fairy tales (Cinderella and The Little Mermaid).


13-16               Explain the basic structure of a story. (Normally I would elicit from students, but it’s hard on a recording!)







17-19               Pause video.

                        Discuss. What kind of problems do fairytale characters have? I.e. Princesses getting kidnapped, queens                                    having no children, frogs beings turned into princes, etc.



20-21               Using Cinderella as an example, point out problems and solutions so the students can see the elements in                                 use.


22-40               The students may pick whatever fairytale they like. It doesn't matter if they don't                           know the                              fairytale exactly. They're going to change it anyway, so they can just make it up! 


                        Suggestions: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three

                        Bears, Rumpelstiltskin.


                        If the students need help, remind them of the story structure and get them to think about the problems in the                          fairytale. How did it go in the fairytale? Do they still want it to go that way, or should they change it?



41-46               Students read out fairy tales.  


47-50               Feedback.  Was it easier or harder working with a framework?  Do the students have any ideas for stories                                they want to write?

Some example 5 sentence fairy tales for the students if they need it in writing:




Cinderella had two mean step-sisters and an even meaner stepmother.


When the prince of the country, who conveniently lived just up the road, had a ball, they wouldn't let her go!


Luckily she had a fairy godmother who made her a dress and footmen out of rags and some rodents.


Unfortunately, it was July and there were no pumpkins around for a coach, so she had to walk all the way there.


She got there at midnight and the spell wore off just as she was walking up to the prince but it was okay because he was very interested in marrying a girl with obvious access to a fairy godmother.


Red Riding Hood



Red Riding Hood set out through the scary woods to deliver some goodies to her grandmother.


Her mother warned her that there was a big bad wolf in the woods and that she must be wary.


Red questioned her mother as to why she had to deliver a present all alone if there was a wolf out there waiting to eat little girls but her mother just replied 'because I said so'.


When she was approached by the wolf, instead of being surprised that it could talk or stupidly telling it where she was really going, she directed it to the house of the local woodcutter.

She got to her grandmother's house safe and sound and the two of them had a lovely picnic with all the goodies she'd brought.



If you want to contact me about a school visit, talk or any other business please use the contact form or you can also find me on Contact An Author here.

There's a selection of my books below, you can see the whole set on the books page.

VDBiF 1: Miss Prince

If you ever wished you could have a more exciting Saturday job, then Rent-A-Legend is the place for you. Join Lucinda as she battles dragons, befriends princesses and joins rebellions.

VDBiF 2: The Map is the Treasure


Joshua didn't want any of this magic and adventure stuff, but he was nice to a mysterious beggar lady, so what can you do?

VDBiF 3: Vampires Don't Belong in Fairyland

Fairyland, which normally has more royals than you can shake a stick at, is down to only two. Can Tyrian stop the civil war before it's too late?

Alicia L. Wright

YA comic fantasy author