Unpacking a Seed (Generating Writing Ideas)

Summary of Lesson Plan:

This is a lesson to help children to generate ideas for writing. It gets them to think on various levels and allows them to come up with a variety of options to explore and to ‘make a difference’ as a writer.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Lesson Outline:


  • Introduce to the children that you are taking writing in a new direction and that you are going to allow them to choose what they are going to write.
  • Explain to them that there will be some guidelines (up to you to create) and set accordingly.
  • Explain that they will be undergoing a process called ‘Unpacking a Seed’ and hand out an enlarged copy of the Unpacking a Seed Template (Below). Also use Butcher’s paper to model if this is your first time doing this.


  • Pull up an image onto your IWB (interactive whiteboard) / show it to the children if you do not have one. (Current issues really resonate with the children, such as flooding, animal cruelty, fires, bank fees, etc).
  • Discuss the image and see if any children have anything that they can add.
  • Now refer children to template and ask them to write down everything that they can see (Absolutely EVERYTHING).
  • Then ask them to write down what they think about the photo.
  • Now ask them how they feel about the photo and to record all the emotions that this picture stirs up inside them.
  • Next, ask them to write down anything that they are currently wondering about the photo.
  • Now ask the children to write down big questions that relate to the issue (big questions are those that sit outside the box and don’t have a clear answer. It would need to be researched).
  • Finally, ask the children to write down text types (persuasive, letter, poster, narrative, etc) that they could use as a writer to make a difference and tell people about this issue.


  • In the very first session, I would model each stage with the children and discuss after they had filled in their own template. Once the children get quite good at this process, I would only stop at the end of filling in boxes 1-4 and then discuss big questions and what we could do a writers (as a whole group).


Unpacking a Seed Template


Dancing Bears

Australian Bush Fires

Dangerous Driving

Smoking Near Children






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