We began the lesson by reading ‘The Hunchback in the Park’ by Dylan Thomas. This was followed by listening to a reading of the poem. We were then faced with 3 questions and had around 5 minutes to answer them all:

  • Who is the hunchback?
  • What is the main idea or feeling in the poem?
  • What is the most vivid image in the poem?

We spent around 10 minutes feeding back, here is a selection of our ideas:

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Our next task was to use this collection of ideas and feelings to create our own biographies for the hunchback. This included exploring the reasons why he became homeless. Since we are aiming high with our recreation writing, we decided that our stories should be intriguing and compelling; perhaps charting a tragic downfall in his life. We used this set of pictures as a starting point to create his back story.

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With our ideas blossoming, we needed to decide which type of writing each one of us wanted to create. We could choose from: diary entries, an obituary, a newspaper article, a charity campaign, a monologue.

We spent the rest of the lesson planning and writing. Here is a selection of what we did:

I could have ran away and led a normal life. But No! I had to play Superman and get involved. That’s when my life changed.

The lads brought me back to the headquarters and removed all sign that I had ever existed on Earth. I, to the general public and the world, had never been born. No passport. No Birth Certificate. No identity. They even scorched off my fingerprints.

Then they put me on a mission.

I sat on the broken bench eating a stale piece of bread wrapped up in an old newspaper, hiding away my past in a thick, tattered blanket that I had found lying in a filthy dump. My day wasn’t pleasant at all, not that it ever was.

Where have I ended up? From a Nobel Peace Prize winner to an old, worthless hunchback wasting his life away. 25 years ago I lived in paradise. Now I am nothing.

Alfred James Ross was born in 1924 to James and Mary Ross, both well respected neurophysicists. The Ross family lived in a small village in Leicestershire where Alfred, and his only sibling Kate, spent their childhood.

Alfred was always top of the class, and was set for great things, but with brains comes struggle. Rejected from society for his eccentricities, Alfred felt that he had no place in Leicester. After years of  mental torture in his small town, he moved to London to pursue his dreams.

It’s the same thing everyday. I’ve become a mockery to everyone who sees me. I sleep every night in a kennel. All I have is this park.

I used to play football for my country, believe it or not. I was lucky in life. Got into football, met so many beautiful women… I had everything. I can remember the roars in the stadium me and the team walked out; people actually liked me. Now I’m just a joke.

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