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KS3 English: The Sandman (1992)

Using silent animation to encourage creative writing

Main image of KS3 English: The Sandman (1992)
Author Peter Mathershaw, Kingsmead Secondary
TopicCreative writing
Curriculum linksNC KS3 English

A quirky and highly stylised yet dark and sinister puppet-animation filled with suspense and tension. The first three minutes beg many questions.

This clip can be used as the basis for a creative writing exercise. It gives students a framework and structure from which to start but assumes that students have, in previous lessons, explored what makes a good creative story (e.g. description, varied sentence structure, imagery etc.). The first three minutes of 'The Sandman' are perfect for highlighting some of these elements.



As students watch the first three minutes of the film, ask them to jot down as many descriptive details as they can about the two characters.

Now, watching the same extract again, encourage students track what they think the characters are feeling as the clip progresses. Can they write down simple sentences that might capture their thoughts? This is particularly interesting as the film is without speech. Less able students might be encouraged to generate questions that they have about the extract.

In pairs, ask students to come up with a simple dialogue between the lady and the child that they think might fit the extract.

Once students have shared their ideas with another member of the class (or contributed to a whole group discussion) ask students to think about what happens after the young child goes through the red door.


Some more ideas

  • Ask students to build upon their knowledge of writing creatively and draw upon their interpretation of the film to continue with the story.
Video Clips
Complete film (9:13)

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Sandman, The (1992)Sandman, The (1992)

Read more about this film

See also