Year 3 Half-term Homework

Story starter!

Hours and hours had passed, and she hadn’t seen a soul. The monotony of trudging through this seemingly never-ending labyrinth was tiring, and her eyelids felt heavy. The heady scent of the pine sap and earthy moss added to her lethargic state. She felt as if she could close her eyes and sleep for a thousand years. She knew she couldn’t though; being trapped in the woods when night fell wouldn’t be a wise move. Making the most of the remaining daylight would be crucial, she knew.

A great sense of foreboding filled her, and she had a tight feeling in her chest. The trees around her, like sentinels protecting the gods of the forest, seemed to bear down upon her. The dense army of pine trees threatened her from every side. There was only one path forward, and she took it hesitantly, not knowing what awaited her in the distance…

This is a story starter for someone lost in a forest! We are going to read the famous story of Hansel and Gretel in class. Your task is to write a powerful paragraph for the lost brother and sister in the foreboding forest. Concentrate on building a powerful description of their surroundings and how terrified they might be…without actually using any dialogue!  You must use strong verbs, expanded noun phrases and precise adverbs! You are allowed to use the Word Bank provided.

Forest, woodland, trees, treetops, trunks, branches, roots, logs   Sky, ceiling, canopy, umbrella, blanket   Floor, carpet, paths, tunnels   Leaves, buds, berries, blossoms, flowers, petals, stems, vines, creepers, ivy, brambles, thorns, twigs   Bluebells, snowdrops, daffodils, poppies, gorse, heather, hawthorn,Stood, rose, spread, stretched, arched   Knotted, tangled, twisted, choked, strangled   Blocked, trapped, grasped, scratched   Burst, erupted, crept, wriggled, writhed   Hung, swayed, tossed, danced, hopped, floated, fluttered   Lit, painted, covered, cloaked, shroudedTall, huge, vast, towering   Beautiful, majestic, stunning,   spectacular, magnificent   Brown, yellow, green, emerald, pink, red, scarlet, crimson, fiery, orange, bronze, purple, blue, white, silver   Bright, vivid   Dark, black, gloomy, shadowy, misty, eerie, ghostly


  1. One shadowy Autumn morning Hansel and Gretel took a calm stroll through the majestic woods but today it felt enchanted. They walked through the winding forest as slow as they could. They started hearing voices whispering to them. What could they be! They looked around and saw nothing but darkness and trees knotted and twisted. This was the beginning of an eerie day.

  2. A great start Elizabeth – think now about using an adverb to begin a sentence so you have a mixture of sentence starters! Super work 🙂

  3. Weeks have past quickly and Hansel and Gretel haven’t seen a thing except from the colossal trees and the unending grey path. They were walking slowly like turtles until they found something. Until then they didn’t stop. Hansel heard a strange scratching noise he said to Gretel this is getting creepy. Gretel replied when are we going home? I don’t know Hansel answered Hansel.

    • Some good expanded noun phrases Maria, you even managed to include a simile. I wonder what the scratching sound was…? 🙂

  4. Although hours passed by she hadn’t seen a single soul. She tiredly trudged through this dark, scary and terrifying maze. The vast canopy trapped any of the sunlight coming through witch made the path very dark. As she stepped on the mossy ground that felt like a soft green carpet. She felt her eyes getting heavier and heavier as she stepped through the deep, dark wood and all she desired was to lay on the cotton like floor. However, she still needed to find her brother who was lost in the terrifying maze. She needed to find her lost brother till nightfall…

    • Wow Elisa – some amazing word choices! I love the alliteration ‘tiredly trudged through’ and the idea of the sunlight being ‘trapped’ (Did you mean she needed to find her brother ‘before’ nightfall?)
      A fabulous piece of writing, good work Elisa! 🙂

  5. Hours and hours had elapsed and she had not seen a soul. The tediousness of travelling through this, unending labyrinth was exhausting and her eyelids felt heavy. The strong scent of the pine sap and earthy moss had added to her lethargic state. She thought that if she closed her eyes, she would not open them until 1,000 years. She knew she could not do that; being trapped in the woods would not be a good move. Making the most of the daylight would be crucial, she knew.

    A profound sense of foreboding replenished her, and she had a tight feeling in her chest. The trees surrounding her like a circle starting from the ground, going to the sky, were seeming to come back down to her. The dense army of pine trees threatened her from every side. Every step she took she thought that she might be followed by a ghost. She wanted to go back to her home. She wondered how her family was feeling. She felt worried. She did not know where she was, but the only thing she knew was that she was in a forest. She tried to call for help, but nobody answered. She felt even more scared that nobody was there to help her get back home. She shouted for help again but nothing was heard. She ran through the forest and she thought that if she ran, she would come out of the forest and go home. She ran. She saw nobody.

    Her legs started trembling with fear. She was too. It was like she was at the edge of a cliff and she could not turn back. She wanted to go back in time so she could rewind time to when she was at home with her family. But she could not do that because she did not even have a time machine! She kept on running till she saw somebody. But she did not see a soul. She was out of breath. She saw a piece of paper on the ground she read and it said, “YOU ARE LOST.” She was so scared that she almost fell to the ground. Only that she saw that she was standing in front of a tree. That was what saved her from falling to the ground. The tall green grass was waving at her but the way they were waving was a dead end! She tried to ignore the grass. The grass eventually got bored of trying to make her go the wrong way because she was not was even listening to them. Another hour had elapsed and it had begun to get dark. But she could not find her way home so she had to sleep there! But she did not have a bed or a sleeping bag. She needed to find her way home, and fast. She knew she should have taken her phone with her. Her mum asked her whether she wanted to take her phone with her but she said that she did not need it. But really, she should have taken it with her. She wondered whether her family was already freaking out. I really mean, she was already freaking out.

    I used the sheet to help me and used my own words and did and I did another paragraph

    • Gosh Osayu, this much have taken you a long time to do! Incredible word choices – I especially enjoyed the first sentence which draws the reader in. My favourite metaphor ‘The dense army of pine trees threatened her from every side’ is chilling!
      My advice to improve it even further would be to avoid starting so many sentences with ‘She..’ For example…
      ‘She did not know where she was, but the only thing she knew was that she was in a forest. She tried to call for help, but nobody answered.’ could become…
      ‘Not knowing where she was, except in some dense forest, the girl tried calling for help. But no-one answered…’
      I used a technique I see you have done, short sentences are great to build tension!
      Fantastic work Osayu 🙂

  6. The day the children decided to run away was gloomy and misty. The best place to hide was in the woodlands. Those tall, majestic trees that normally seems spectacular, today looked ghostly, covered in fog.
    Children moved forward deeper and deeper into the creepy woods, looking at branches fighting with the wind and loosing leaves that were flying everywhere. It was getting darker, colder and with no chance of finding dry place to stay for a night. everything felt hopeless until they saw a light…

    • Oooh, Casper I really like how you’ve created atmosphere with your word choices and then draw the reader in with your use of the conjunction ‘until’… Well done! 🙂

  7. One, dark Autumn night Hansel and Gretel eyes were heavily tired and Hansel heard a familiar sound.Hansel saw colossal trees doing weird noises.They were both terrified but at the same time amazed by huge path of greens grass in front of them.They felt like they were trapped in the darkness.They just wanted to go to their safe home.They held hands and started walking in to the tunnel of trees.

    • Zachery, I would love to know what the familiar sound was. Perhaps you could describe it to the reader? Good work with the expanded noun phrases 🙂

  8. Meanwhile, Hansel and Gretel waited and waited in the gloomy enchanted forest. Until the full moon rose and the wolves were howling and the stones glimmered in the moonlight. So they decided to go back home because they were frightened of the wolves. From a distance, they could feel the piercing of the wolves’ eyes following them. Only the wolves survived the eerie, ghostly forest.

    • I like your use of fronted adverbials and conjunctions. My favourite sentence is ‘From a distance, they could feel the piercing of the wolves’ eyes following them.’ I can feel a shiver run down my spine! 🙂

  9. In the Forest, leafs floated on the ground, making “see see” sound when we walked on it. The fog was getting thick, and it looked mistry and ghostly.

  10. The thick forest has covered by tall and huge trees even the tree tops and branches spread and stretched like an umbrella over the forest .it was dark and cold everywhere.Hansel felt that she was trapped in the shadowy and ghostly forest .she heard the howling sound of the wind throughout the forest .even the daylight was creepy to come inside forest .there was only one path forward,and she took it hesitantly ,not knowing what awaited her in the distance.

  11. Once a beautiful forest, it has just opened the door of fear of children and despair that they will not be able to return home.
    Misty forest and terrible wind made it difficult for them to see. They walked down a corridor of great roots and gloomy trees. Blackberries clung to their feet. The sky was dark and the sounds were terrifying. They rested under an umbrella of green leaves. Their hands trembled for fear that they will be here forever. Eyes were huge when they heard an explosion in the distance.
    But they believed that soon they would find a way out to a beautiful clearing of roses.

    • Ooohh,, I have shivers running down my spine Mia! I love ‘opened the door of fear’ Brilliant 🙂

  12. One very cold, dark and gloomy evening Hansel and Gretel walked through the eerie, misty woods. Leaves and twigs crunched on the ground beneath them. Hansel and Gretel clutched hands in fear as the gloomy woodland strecthed out before them. They decided to have more courage than a lion could ever have as they continued to follow the twisted footpath so quickly but quietly they crept along.

    • Very descriptive Isabella. Good strong verbs like ‘clutched’ and a lovely simile about the courage of a lion. Great writing 🙂

  13. The sky was blue with scattered clouds. The sun was baking like an oven. Huge trees stood there quietly as Hansel and Gretel were walking around them with fear.
    They walked on the grass that was laying there like a new shiny carpet.
    They were looking very terrified and worried. They did not know where to go because the woodland was dark even though the sun was shining brightly. The branches covered the whole space. Only creepy creatures where happy there but not Hansel and Gretel.

  14. It was that gloomy mid morning when Hansel and Gretel realized that they had wandered away in the dense forest admiring the natural beauty that shimmered bright with colourful leaves and flowers on the bushes and wild berries on trees. They found themselves surrounded by tall trees and canopies, large vines that swayed in the quiet woods. Whistling sounds, creepy insects, spiders made their hearts pound, as they crushed the dried leaves under their feet walking past the dense forest. Despite the fear, they stood strong with their brave hearts that didn’t lose hope. They moved in shear desperation in different directions to find their way back home. Not long though, Hansel and Gretel followed their instincts and used their foresight, following the golden beams of the sun that cut through the skyline reflecting through the forest umbrella to find their way back home.

    • Wow Leon, what a vivid painting of the setting – I feel like I could almost be there. Great writing! 🙂

  15. As they walked down the long dark path with the woodlands towering over them. The branches were swaying and the leaves were rustling. In the distance the brother and sister saw a ghostly shadow with bright red eyes as they slowly walked towards the ghostly shadow it rose up into the darkness of woodland canopy. 😊😊

    • Good word choices Mia. The description of ‘a ghostly shadow with bright red eyes’ really stands out – chilling! 🙂

  16. The sky went dark,the trees seemed spookier than ever the shadows stretched for miles cast down by the giant trees of the forest. The lost children felt trapped with fear, they knew that they would have to stay in the creepy forest cold, alone and hungry till the morning.

    • Maya, my favourite phrase is ‘the shadows stretched for miles cast down by the giant trees of the forest’ It really paints a picture in the reader’s minds 🙂

  17. The forest has lots of trees in it and was spooky and dark. There were animals like wolves and wild dogs. The children were terrified to see wolves and foxes!

    Second Draft

    Tall, towering trees surrounded the frightened young children as they searched desperately for a way home! Knotted, tangled branches seemed to be reaching out to scratch them both. In the distance, they heard a terrifying howl that made them begin to tremble.

    • Well done Ruby – now try to think of some adjectives to create expanded noun phrases! 🙂

      Great redraft Ruby – you really thought about your word choices!

  18. Seconds turned into minutes as the young boy and girl trudged through the deep forest. Magnet and Chase needed desperately to find another soul but they could not! Fallen leaves crunched under their weary feet. Towering trees wriggled their branches so the leaves could escape. Suddenly, the children heard a strange eerie noise…they froze!

    • Really atmospheric writing Daniela, my favourite line is the ‘Towering trees wriggled their branches so the leaves could escape’Great work.

  19. Days turned into weeks, Hansel and Gretel were trapped. They felt tormented as they trudged, gloomily through the vast expanse of towering trees. The brother and sister clung tightly to each others hand, hair-raising creaks could be heard from the treetops above. As they walked on they shivered with despair.

    • Andrew, I love your use of the senses to create a vivid picture – even including the creak of the trees. Great writing! 🙂

  20. They were boy and girl. They were small children lost in the enormous emerald woodland.
    The only one path was so dark and long covered by brown, yellow and bronze leaves.
    They couldn’t see the majestic blue sky.
    Tousands of little spooke eyes were looking at them counting theirs steps.
    One. Two. Free…

    • Some great expanded noun phrases Jan – I love ‘majestic blue sky’ and your use of alliteration too. Oooh what are the eyes watching their steps…? 🙂

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