English novel activities


All of the activities below help to develop the 6 key skills for Junior Cycle. 

  1. Working with others

  2. Communicating

  3. Managing information and thinking

  4. Staying well

  5.  Managing myself

  6. Being creative 

 Novel activities


1.Family tree

2. Venn diagram- How is everyone connected in the story. 

3. Map- of all the places mentioned.

4. Write an acrostic poem based on each characters name. 

5. A storyboard of the novel. 

6. Use speech bubbles to imagine a conversation between 2 characters. 

7. Change the ending of the story.

8. Diary entries

9. Interview a character

10. Write 10 questions you would like to ask the author after reading the entire novel.

Technology: 11. Use the “In A World …. Drama” app to create a movie promo for a film based on the book.

Technology: 12. Create a Voki  and get the character to speak their thoughts at a certain point in the novel.

13. Draw the illustration for the front cover of the novel or else the billboard for the film version. 

Technology: 13. Tweet from one of the character’s perspectives. 

Technology: 14. Set up a Fakebook account for one of the character’s. 

15. Get a character to write a letter to a character from another novel that you have read.

16. Write a “What If ….” poem about an event that took place in the novel.

17. Write “3 Truths and a Lie” about a character in the novel and see if other pupils can guess which one was the lie.

18. Use the SMS Generator to create a text message conversation between two characters in the novel.


19. Draw an illustration of a description of the setting that is in the novel.


20. Design a news paper article about an incident in the novel. 


21.Use Wordle to summarise each chapter. 


22. Group work – Draw each character in the novel and write words around each character to describe their characteristics.


23. Create a radio ad for your book. Write out the script and tape record it as it would be presented. Don’t forget background music!


24. Create a wanted poster for a character in your novel.

25. I got first years to write a Private Peaceful 2 and then we acted out the best one in class. Therefore we did creative writing and drama from one task!
26. Write a formal letter to the author of your novel and explain how you feel about the book.
27. Create a newspaper for your book. Summarize the plot in one article, cover the weather in another, do a feature story on one of the more interesting characters in another. Include an editorial and a collection of ads that would be pertinent to the story. 
28. Pretend that you are going to join the characters in the story. What things will you need to pack? Think carefully, for you will be there for a week, and there is no going back home to get something!
29. Choose a job for one of the characters in the book and write letter of application.
30.  Write about one of the character’s life twenty years from now.
31. Write a Tinder advert for one of the characters.
32. Add another character to the book. Why would she/he be put there? What part would she/he serve?

Girl with a Pearl Earring resources  

I am currently reading Girl with a Pearl Earring with my Transition Year students. It are halfway through it at the moment. I have included some resources I have made. I will update this blog post in a few weeks with some more resources 🙂

We are also preparing for our TY spelling bee challenge next week.

As the students have not looked at the novel since before Easter, I will review what they have done in the novel so far by asking students to pick a scrambled piece of paper out of a bowl. Each scrambled piece of paper will feature a name/word that is related to the novel. The words will be Griet, Painter, Catholic, Frans, Blind, Sixteen years old, Seventeen years old, Catharina, Agnes, Tile painter, Papists’ corner, Griet’s chores as a maid, Tanneke, Cornelia, Papist’s corner, Griet’s chores, 1665, Van Ruijven, Sunday, Griet’s bed, Maria Thins, Maid.

I will walk around the classroom and I will ask each student to pick out a word from the bowl. When every student has a word, I will go around in sequence and ask each pupil to call out their word and to discuss their word in relation to the novel. I will ask the students to help each other.


 Click on these tabs below to download my worksheets.

Girl with a Pearl Earring-Letter from Johannes to Griet

Girl with a Pearl Earring- Gossip about Griet workshop

Girl with a Pearl Earring. Debate feel sorry-do not feel sorry for Griet.

 Group work- Coloured paper- Draw Griet with the cloth on her head. Discussion- How has she changed physically and metaphorically.

Group work: Coloured paper: Draw what you think the finished painting would look like.

Group work:  Rewrite the climax of the novel.

Class discussion- Why did Griet not beg Johannes not to ruin her?

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