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English – Varying sentence lengths for effect – Autumn 2021


In English, just after Halloween, Year 6 were tasked to create a short paragraph that was as scary as possible, placing emphasis on certain words or pauses that would affect the reader. We wrote these in an eerie silence, then read them aloud in darkness with just a torch to set the mood.

Here are some of our paragraphs – which one do you think is most effective and why?

One soundless night, I was walking through a pitch-black alleyway to get home. I felt a shadow move. I turned as quick as a flash. There was nothing. I took a deep breath. Suddenly, there was a bang! What could it be? A light flickered in the creepy alleyway. SP

The pitch-black woods shadowed the figure behind me. You could only just make out the looming trees which covered the forest. I thick brown blanket of leaves lay on the ground. I sprinted. Should I stop? I knew I was being followed. The only light guiding me was the bright moon and the gentle breeze made my golden hair blow. I stopped. The leaves rustled. I turned slowly to see that the figure had stopped too. My heart was pounding and the wind was now howling. I felt the cold air slap against my face. Suddenly, I heard a bloodcurdling scream… SC

Suddenly, the door closed. Bang!! We realised that we were trapped inside as we tried to open the door but it was locked. A light flickered then a shadow moved. It came closer and closer. I looked away for a moment. With fear, I felt someone breathing down my neck. MM

I walked slowly down the crumbled, rocky path. Straining my ears, I tried to hear a scuffle of footsteps or a coat rustling in the wind, but I heard nothing. Suddenly, a flicker of light caught my eye. Slowly, I turned around…  Behind me stood a tall, thin stranger, wearing only black. Deep cuts scarred his pale, white face and where his eyes should have been were two empty, black holes that seemed to stare into my soul. Heart pounding, I turned and quickened my pace. So did the stranger. NB