Today, I challenged my Year 8 class (12 year olds) to write a piece of persuasive copy that could be used in a travel brochure. 'Imagine you are running a tour,' I said, 'to a place of interest. Persuade your target audience to sign up.'
They'd been studying travel brochures and advertisements as preparation for this, highlighting the persuasive devices used.
'The only snag is,' I said, 'it has to be the worst place imaginable. Somewhere you wouldn't dream of going to. Let's make a list.'
Among others, they thought of
1. The council dump
2. The back yard of McDonald's where the bins are
3. The sewage works
4. A landfill site
5. A stagnant pool
They were squeaky keen to read out their work when we'd finished, and there were spatters of applause after each one. Some were so funny.
This is my version, but theirs inspired it.
'Book now for a visit to the sewage works! You will be enchanted by a wide range of fascinating natural wildlife never encountered on your holidays in Corfu. Cobalt-winged bluebottles, giant flies, alighting delicately on your lunchtime sandwich with their gossamer wings, and - oooh, look, there's Mr Rat with his ratty youngsters, darting from place to place, the busy little creature he is. Breathe in the scent of sewage. Who needs the aroma of a salty Mediterranean ocean when here, right on your doorstep, you can experience the heady scent of sewage? It's a trip like no other. No air fares. No battling through Customs. No squeezing into a seat on a plane next to a three-year-old with the flu. And make sure you don't miss our special Buy One Get One Free deal on BOGOF Sundays. It's your once-in-a-lifetime chance and the one visit that won't 'drain' your bank balance. Pick up the phone now. Sewage is the new Seychelles.'
Today was one of those days I love being a teacher.
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