Discussing the Star Wars Opening Crawl!

Last week, @GrahamAndre from the Numeracy Shed shared this brilliant resource - The Star Wars Crawl Creator! It is a fantastic tool to introduce a topic and grab children's attention. It made me think about the crawls used in the film, the purpose and text used. Looking at the text can generate a great discussion and reading task. 
Here is the text from the latest Star Wars film - 

A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away....
Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. 
With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy. 
Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts . . . .
Share the text with the children, and ask the following questions - 
  • Why is the opening line 'A long time ago...' interesting?  What is unusual?
  • Look at the first sentence - do you like this? Why? 
  • What effect does it have? 
  • What questions do we now have? 
  • What do we know about Luke Skywalker?
  • Take the phrase - In his absense, - What term is this an example of? What other phrases could we use instead?
  • What does the word sinister mean? How effective is that word? Can you think of any alternatives? 
  • Why has FIRST ORDER, REPUBLIC and RESISTANCE been written in captial letters?
  • 'risen from the ashes' what does this phrase tell use about the Empire?
  • What is the phrase "the last jedi" an example of? How do we know?
  • Why have we started a new paragraph? 
  • Why does General Leia Organa have capital letters?
  • What word describes the resistance? How effective is this word? Do we get any indication about the size of the Resistance compared to the First Order?
  • Why is she 'desperate' to find Luke? What do you think about the choice of the word desperate?
  • What can we infer about the pilot sent to Jakku? How do we know?
  • What does the word 'ally' mean?
  • Why has an apostrophe been used in the last line?
  • What do you notice about the ellipsis at the end? Why do you think there is an extra dot?
  • What is the purpose of the crawl? 
  • Does it fulfill its purpose?
  • Why?
  • What do you think needs to be included in this crawl? 
  • What language features are required?
Here is a link with more information about the crawl and the text used in all the other Star Wars films to further discuss - Opening Crawl. You could print the text from each Star Wars film and share with children who work in groups of three to discuss similar questions to the above and then share their ideas with the rest of the class. As a class discuss and list any similarities and differences in the text.

Once you have discussed the text with the children, you can challenge them to create their own. Alternatively, you could create a draft with over flowery language and ask the children to edit and redraft it. Encouraging them to discuss the changes and language choices they make. 

They can then use the Crawl Creator to turn their writing into the opening Crawl for their own Star Wars story!

Here is an example from a student -

It is a period of fear for the RESISTANCE, after destroying the STARKILLER BASE they sense an immediate retaliation. 
Supreme Leader Snoke has now completed Kylo Ren's training to become a Sith of the Dark Side. He is now on searching for Rey. 
To try and warn Rey, General Leia sends two trusted pilots to follow the map and locate Rey who is now with Luke Skywalker....
Thank you to Mr Bennett and his 3GB class from Stoke Primary School for sharing their examples -


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