Theseus and the Minotaur, retold by Meli

4TBM.  Have a  read through Meli’s retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur and post a comment about something you like about it.  We’ll look at this together in class tomorrow.  I’ve added some of my thoughts in red.

King Minos of Crete was a person who wanted all power and he was evil and yet he was a king.   He was so full of himself that he built a huge palace for himself. But right under the huge palace there was fear.  [Great sentence!]  Fear of a labyrinth. [Brilliant, powerful short sentence] Because somewhere deep in the labyrinth there was a Minotaur.  A Minotaur is a bloodthirsty, murderous monster and it feeds on human flesh. [Yikes!  Great description]  

But there was something extra.   King Aegeus of Athens had each year to send 7 boys and 7 girls to feed the terrible Minotaur.   King Aegeus didn’t like doing that but he just didn’t want a war with Crete.

Theseus, the son of Aegeus,was in town being happy and having a good time but then he saw his father waving goodbye to 14 tributes about to get eaten by the Minotaur.  Theseus asked why and his father explained everything.

“That won’t happen because I am going to be one of the tributes and I will kill this monster,” said the young, brave man.

“If you succeed, you must raise a white sail when you return.  If not, raise a black one,” said King Aegeus with a little tear in his eye.

[This is excellent dialogue from Meli because it is helping to tell the story.   And she’s remembered the punctuation and the rule ‘new speaker, new line’]

When Theseus arrived with the others he walked to the palace and saw King Minos and beside him was Princess Ariadne, King Minos’s beautiful daughter.  When Princess Ariadne saw young, brave Theseus, she started to admire him. So when Theseus was going into the labyrinth, Princess Ariadne secretly walked up to Theseus when nobody was looking and said: “Even if you kill the Minotaur, you will never find your way out so take this.  It will help you.” And she gave Theseus some thread. Theseus took the thread and he was off into the darkness of the labyrinth.

Somewhere in the labyrinth, Theseus turned a dark corner and felt a sharp horn and then straight away he knew there was the Minotaur in front of him.  From the first second, Theseus held onto the horns and brought his sword down and slayed the half-man-half-bull beast.  [I think I would have liked Meli to describe the battle in more detail.]

When Theseus had killed the Minotaur he took the thread then looked for the entrance to the labyrinth.  When he came out he saw Princess Ariadne there waiting for him and she said, “Oh my God you’re alive!”  You must take me with you or my father will kill me.”

When Theseus was sailing back home, Ariadne wouldn’t stop blabbing [Fun choice of word!] about her and Theseus getting married.  But Theseus had something else in mind. Theseus realised that just because he had saved Ariadne he was expected to marry her.   So he stopped at an island and asked Ariadne to get some food. She stepped off the boat and he set off without her.   

So the so-called amazing Prince Theseus was selfish and a traitor.   Theseus said, “I will not marry her. I will marry the prettiest girl in Athens or a goddess, not her.”  But while Theseus was going back and thinking about the future he forgot to change the black sail to a white one.  So when King Aegeus, who was waiting at the top of a cliff, saw the black sail, he thought his son was dead. So he threw himself off the cliff.   And to this day that sea has been called the Aegean Sea in memory of the heartbroken king.

[Meli has retold the story in clear and entertaining language.  She has written in the past tense throughout. She has varied her sentences and used some great phrases and vocabulary.  All of the dialogue helps to tell the story – there’s no chit chat! These are all the things you need to aim for in your next piece of work.]

Reading, the Moomins, World Book Day

It’s great that so many of the class are reading such a great selection of books even if I do still have a bit of a day-to-day battle to get one or two to remember to take their book to and from school every day.

A reminder that Thursday is World Book Day.  I’m wondering if there might be some Moomin characters on the day.  Here’s a brilliant drawing from Meli’s reading journal of the moment where Snufkin and friends discover the Hobgoblin’s hat on top of a mountain.  img_3493And here’s Chyanne’s depiction of a smug Moominpappa clutching his famous memoirs – a book in which, as he says himself, he ponders the experiences that have made him the remarkable Moomin he is.  Chyanne writes: “I think that Moominpappa’s adventures were extraordinary because he was brave enough to explore the dangers of the world.”  Absolutely!img_3496

Fitness charts

The children used Excel to plot graphs showing the progress they made in the boot camp fitness programme that they’ve been following over recent weeks.  The performance lines do not all go smoothly upwards even though the children visibly became fitter over the weeks.  In part, this may be because they all learned to do the different exercises better from week to week which did not always been faster.

Lilah's boot campMeliRafiRufus

Would you rather…..?

Just before home time, we had some fun debating ‘Would you rather…’ questions:  Would you rather be a question or an answer?  A fact or a possibility?   A true story or a dream?  Then we got to, Would you rather be the past or the future?  Most said they would rather be the future because of the alluring prospect of hover cars and new technologies. Meli, however, said she would rather be the past, so that she could revisit all the happy memories in the world.  It nearly brought a tear to the eye! But then Lynden made the decisive intervention against the future by pointing out that the Earth is on a collision course with a giant black hole, even if not for some time yet!

Press conference


As we continue to investigate The Wolf’s Story in our English lessons, Ms Boothroyd took on the role of the wolf when answering probing questions from the class at a press conference about his conduct in the affair with Little Red Riding Hood.  She gave some very concerning answers.  Please discuss these at home and see whether you can spot any holes or inconsistencies in the Wolf’s story.

Q: How long have you been a vegetarian?
A: On and off for about two years – I do like a bit of meat now and then though.

Q: What was it like to be accused of eating an old lady?
A: It was horrible. It was so unfair. I’d never eat an old lady – it’s not my favourite type of food anyway.

Q: How do you know granny is not your favourite type of meat if you’ve never tried any?
A: I might have tried it once. I can’t remember. Just a little nibble.

Q: Perhaps you prefer young girls for dinner?
A: Certainly not – that hasn’t happened for absolutely ages.

Q: Have you ever tried eating a granny?
A: NO! I would never eat someone that old.

Q: How do you feel about having your tail cut off?
A: I was very annoyed. It hurt a lot.

Q: Are you lying?
A: Of course not. What a ridiculous question!

Q: Have you ever blown down three little pigs’ houses?
A: I’ve never blown down a brick house.

Q: You said you’d never eat an old lady but you didn’t mention adults and children.
A: I’ve already told you that I’m a vegetarian.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I like to go for walks in the woods.

Q: The police are offering a reward for anyone who has any information on you. How does that feel?  A: It’s completely scandalous. Why should an innocent wolf be harassed like this?

Then Meli gave some feisty and combative responses at her press conference in the role of Little Red Riding Hood

Q: Are you planning to take revenge on the wolf?
A: Yes! I’m thinking of drowning him!

Q: Why did you scream when the wolf jumped out of bed?
A: Because he was going to eat me. The wolf is lying about being a vegetarian. I heard him say he’s an “on and off” veggie. What on earth does that mean?!

Q: What was scariest about the wolf?
A: His teeth! They looked very sharp.

Q: Has the wolf eaten any other members of your family?
A: Not as far as I know.

Q: How does it feel to be involved in a crime investigation like this?
A: Very scary. I’m worried that the wolf might be found not guilty and come back to try to eat me again!

Q: Do you have any wolf friends? No.
A: They are scary, sharp-toothed, lying, greedy, untrustworthy animals