The story of ‘I Can’t Do This’ could be used as a vehicle for a literacy unit as there are many ways it could be explored and expanded. Here are a few of my ideas which could be taken further or used as elements which would go to create a whole unit of work.

  • Write an explanation text for ‘how to trap a thought’
  • Explain the story in 50 words
  • Write a new blurb
  • Draw a new front cover
  • Hot seat Fortitude about what happened to him in the story and his actions. Why did he decide to capture the bad thought? What did he think about the change he’d created? Etc.
  • Turn the story into a news report exploring the moral of the story
  • Turn the story into a play
  • Explain the theme of the story in 50 words
  • Write an imaginary interview with the author about the book and why she wrote it ( this could be role played in pairs first)
  • At the point at which Fortitude falls, write him a letter offering him advice (like an agony aunt). This could also be done through a pupil taking the role of Fortitude and phoning a radio programme for advice
  • The police interview the sheep ( the bad thought) for his/her side of the story (why did they appear and what do they feel about Fortitude’s response towards his/her appearance?)
  • In role as journalists, interview Fortitude. Follow this up by presenting this as a broadcast using a digital camera or by writing a news story for a local paper.
  • Phone a friend – sit the children back to back and let them pretend to make a mobile phone call. One of them is in role as Fortitude talking about a key event in the story to a relative.
  • Sell the book ‘Fortitude’ – why should people buy it? (could be used in exercises of persuasion, role playing an advert or done through writing.)
  • What if…?
    Suppose that Fortitude didn’t hook the bad thought? How would the story end? The children could act this, write this, draw it as a story map, orally tell it, etc.