Monday, 18 January 2010

Ordinary, Extraordinary and Extra-Extraordinary

This idea comes from an activity in one of my books due out soon (Even More Outside the Box). I like that title. It's a sequel to Outside the Box so I am guessing if I write more, they might be called 'Viewing the box from space.'

It starts by defining:

*Ordinary - as nothing out of the ordinary!
*Extraordinary as unusual but possible and
*Extra-Extraordinary - as extremely unlikely or impossible.
(for the purpose of this activity)

For example: take these three teachers' journeys to school.

Mr Jones
Mr Jones leaves his house every morning at 7.30 a.m, exactly. He gets into his blue car, puts on his seat belt and pulls out of his drive. He drives along the High Street,turns left into School Road and right into the school car park. He puts on the hand brake and climbs out of his car. He enters the school by the main entrance.

Ms Teapot
Ms Teapot leaves her house by a small window in the downstairs bathroom. She untangles her bicycle from the gooey clutter that is always in her shed, hammers the wheels into a round shape and paints the saddle purple. She gets onto her bike and freewheels it backwards to Riddle Street because she forgets - every morning - that the school is not there. She then puts her bike in a tree and walks in slow motion to Bucket Road where she enters the school via a tunnel she built out of cereal boxes in a technology lesson the week before.

Mrs Yaraloompa
Mrs Yaraloompa falls from the cloud that she slept on, to the top of Mount Everest. She takes a huge leap from the top of the mountain and lands in the Atlantic Ocean. She quickly builds a hovercraft from the contents of her handbag and takes it to the south coast of Britain. Once ashore she gathers up five cars, steals the best bits from each of them and makes a stripy green and pink, supersonic helicopter with marshmallow stuffed seats for comfort. She flies to the school gates which she turns to strawberry jelly and eats before entering. She bounces into the school on an invisible pogo stick.

The idea is you could apply this extraordinary and extra-extraordinary makeover to any description of an ordinary occurrence - say a trip to the shops, writing a comment about a blog post or making a sandwich.

Off you go then.....or not.....


  1. Stop setting us homework! We do have lives you know (sort of). xxx

  2. An ordinary day by Claire Potter (non-fiction)

    Morning. I walk into my children's bedroom and find my 10-year-old son trying to suspend himself from the ceiling with a harness (to be like Billy Elliot the musical he says) and my 3-year-old daughter breast-feeding a toy mouse.

    After breakfast, I take my daughter to a toddler group. I get into a conversation with a passionately Christian woman who tells me the reason her husband believes in god is because whilst having a bubble bath, he asked god for a sign, and god made the letters of his name in the bubbles.

    I return home around noon and find my 46-year-old husband working, wearing a weight-lifter's belt over his dressing gown and writing an article on Hannah Montana.

    I decide to put the kettle on.

  3. I wake up think "Oh no I'm alive again"

    then it all starts.

  4. Isn't Mr. Jones a bit extrordinary for waking up every day at 7:30?
    Well, it is to me, surely the idea of someones 'outside the box' is different.

  5. Claire you did your homework wrong but as you live in exceptional circumstances, would you like to 'ordinaryarise' your morning?

    Nick - was that what you were trying to prevent on Saturday evening?

    Eric - he has an alarm.

  6. No, I meant, how can he possibly get up so early? It's just not right...

    ps - seriously, that is a good exercise to help develop creative thinking.


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