Using Question of Sport’s ‘What Happens Next?’ as a Writing Stimulus

I have fond memories of watching quiz shows growing up. In particular, BBC’s Question of Sport. Recently, I wondered about the possible use of the ‘what happens next’ game as a writing stimulus in the classroom, and wanted to share some potential ideas with you.

In case you haven’t seen QoS before, here’s an excerpt from the show, airing a snippet from a game involving Exeter City.

As a part of the programme, contestants in the game are given options to what they believe happens next based on selected sport footage. As you can see from watching the conclusion to the question, Jamie Mackay scores but the ball sneaks through the net and has to be finished off by Adam Stansfield (RIP). Somewhat unpredictable I know, but engaging and it will hook the learners.

There are so many other videos available online and they don’t have to feature short snippets of edited footage like this one below.

In this video, ten questions are presented requiring an answer for each, which are great fun and thoroughly entertaining. (Please be careful though, as this particular video shows Cantona’s famous stamp on a fan in the crowd.)

I believe such footage is an excellent hook and could possibly be used in many ways to engage writers, generating discussion and stimulating possible ideas and imagination.

1) You could ask the children to discuss in teams what they believe happens next.

2) Share their ideas from one (or more) excerpts from what they think may follow.

3) Finally, show the class what happens. Were they close? Was anyone right?

You could do this with any video, pausing at the moment before and allowing the learners to delve into their imagination. It’s always incredible what they come up with!

Gathered suggestions may resemble the following:

‘The player takes on the keeper, chips it towards the goal but misses an open net!’

– Firstly, to extend this, you could create a narrative from the first or third person. Using carefully chosen Alan Peat sentences (such as ‘3 Bad – (Dash) question’, ‘3ed’ and ‘_ing, _ed’, emotion word (comma) etc.), invite the children to extend their original idea. A superb writing opportunity.

– A brilliant way of organising this, is to use Mat Sullivan’s (@InspiredMind5) comic planner approach. Using screenshots from the clip, which can be placed on the template, ask the children to produce a Roy of the Rovers style comic, using speech, internal monologue and detail to continue their story. In my opinion, Comic Life is the best software (currently) for producing this digitally, allowing users to add speech, thoughts, captions, onomatopoeia and narrative; even their own photographs to create a dramatisation/reenactment of what will happen.


Children could also write from the perspective of the opposition, instead of the sports person in question. It could even from the viewpoint of a fan! In addition, I’ve blogged before about writing from the perspective of an inanimate object before. This could be a goal post, the ball, the stadium or the floodlights…

– Also, learners could recount the event, either in the form of a diary, blog or newspaper or online article. Lee Parkinson (@ICT_MrP) has some good ideas on his blog and in his ebook about the use of iMovie and Morfo to create commentary.

– Pupils could use Explain Everything to analyse what happened. It could even be used by the children to note and discuss what they believe could have happened next. This would be great fun! And remember, it doesn’t even have to be sport – plenty of short films and animations can be used too.

– Finally, I leave you with a great video from The Masters at the weekend. Jordan Spieth, the outright winner and only 21, is stuck behind a tree on the 14th at Augusta and is up against it, with an object right in his line. I wonder what he was thinking? I don’t think anyone could have guessed what was about to happen next – I certainly couldn’t!

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Jordan Spieth at The Masters, Augusta, 2015

This is one short video that I’ve found but it is important to add that the app Vine is a superb tool for accessing footage online. This app shows six second footage and great for pausing at any chosen moment, just by tapping the screen. Video is looped continuously but the material available online is huge! You just have to choose carefully.

I hope some of these ideas are useful and if you have any suggestions, please share them!