Number one for English language teachers

Writing skills: Mini saga

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate Type: Teaching notes

Students learn about mini sagas and try to write one themselves.

What is a mini saga?

A mini saga is a piece of writing which has exactly fifty words, not including the title, which can have up to fifteen words. A mini saga has to tell a story and have a beginning, middle and end. It cannot just be a description of something.

The first mini sagas appeared in 1982 in The Sunday Telegraph, an English newspaper. The Sunday Telegraph announced the idea of the mini saga and held a competition for the best ones.

Why use mini sagas?

Mini sagas provide an excellent vehicle for a short writing lesson. This is because:

  • they are easy to read
  • it is an easy task for the learner to understand
  • to the learner, writing fifty words does not sound difficult (not at first!)
  • they focus on accuracy (in the editing stage)
  • like all creative writing, they have the potential to be very motivating

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