Holy Trinity Primary School in Dartford recently took part in our Timmy Failure: Crack the Case competition, which challenges pupils to write their own detective stories using characters from the Timmy Failure books.
To create excitement about the competition and provide ideas for entries, teacher Julie Daniel immersed her class in their own detective story - ‘the case of the lost lunch.’ The pupils were given new evidence every day, such as a crisp packet or banana peel appearing on a pupil’s desk. The class created a ‘prime suspect’ board including drawings and descriptions of accused pupils and teachers.
Julie said: “Creating and trying to solve our very own detective story as a class really helped to engage pupils in the competition and inspire their own detective stories. I also found that ‘planting’ evidence on quieter pupils helped to draw them in and encourage them to be more involved in class discussion.”
After reading the books aloud to the children and supporting their independent reading, Julie was pleased to see that pupils were using new words and phrases from the books in their entries. They were also given the chance to use dictionaries and thesauruses to help increase their vocabulary.
Julie observed how the humour of the Timmy Failure books helped to engage pupils of different abilities:
She said: “The short chapters and illustrations made the book accessible to both confident readers and less able pupils. The funny style helped to draw pupils in and motivate them to enjoy reading and writing about the book’s characters. The word limit for the competition also worked really well, as it was long enough to challenge pupils but not too long that they lost interest.”