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Reading + Writing Task


      It was a wild night. The wind was howling outside, and the rain beating and splashing against the windows. Suddenly, amid the hubbub of the gale, there burst forth the terrified scream of a terrified woman. I knew it was my sister’s voice. I sprang from my bed wrapped a shawl round me, and rushed into the corridor.


      As I opened my door, I seemed to hear a low whistle, such as my sister had described to me, and a few moments later a changing sound, as if a mass of metal had fallen. As I ran down the passage, my sister’s door

was unlocked, . . . I saw my sister appear at the opening, her face white with terror, her hands groping for help, her whole figure swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard. She fell to the ground . . . as I bent over her she suddenly shrieked out in a voice I shall never forget, “Oh my God! Helen! It was the band. The speckled band!”

R - What sounds can Helen hear?


I - Why do you think Helen jumps up out of bed?


C - How has the writer created tension in this short extract?

Tuesday 20th April

LC: To understand how an  author creates tension

Please read the following two extracts. Afterwards, you are going to compare them to see how they are different. Whilst you are reading them, think about how the authors have tried to create tension in their writing. 



When Michael reached David's house it was dark. He went in and looked around for a bit. He found David dead in the bath. David had been killed by an escaped murderer, who was still hiding in the loft.


When Micheal arrived at his friend's house it was pitch black. To his surprise the front door was ajar. He pushed it gently and the door swung inwards with a creak. 

"David...?" he called softly. There was no answer. 

There was a noise coming from the sitting room. Michael crept in but there was only the television. 


"Here is the ten o'clock news," said the announcer. "A dangerous murderer has escaped from a local prison..." Michael switched it off. Who cared about boring old news?


Suddenly, he felt something cold on his nose; he put up his hand and it came away wet. Quickly, he went to the stairs and climbed to the landing. The sound of running water came from the bathroom. 

"David, why on earth are you...?"

But his words stuck on his lips at the sight of a motionless hand gripping the edge of the bath. Blood dripped from the fingertips.

Through a crack in the ceiling, a watching eye followed Michael to his friend. 

Answer the following questions in your Reading Journals. 


  • Which version builds up tension the best?
  • How has the author built up the tension?
  • Which version do you prefer and why?

Writing Task


Watch the clip from Jurassic Park below. I would like you to try to create a written version of this scene. Your task is to create tension in your writing. - Jurassic Park 1993 Raptors in the Kitchen Scene 910 Movieclips.mp4

Still image for this video