Date Posted... Mar 20th 2020

Year 5 learn to write like Cressida Cowell

‘Hiccup was an intelligent boy, and he judged that it might be wiser to shut up’. (Cressida Cowell)

This was our starting point for a recent piece of descriptive writing in Year 5. Of course, the subject matter is dragons, which fitted wonderfully into our myths and legends topic.

Firstly, the children researched dragons, using the incredible writing of Cressida Cowell in her book, ‘How to fight a dragon’s fury’.

Next, they were given a particular moment in the text, in which the young Vikings (Hiccup and Fishlegs) have started a swimming race with a difference – the winner is the last one back! Our heroes were in quite a predicament: they were dangling helplessly from the claws of a pack of Raptortongues, over the open ocean…

The children’s task was to write like the author. Once they had chosen a dragon, we decided that they would insert their dragon into the original text – but this time their dragon would be the solution to the problem (namely their sticky situation with the Raptortongues).

We have written a letter to Cressida Cowell, including their work, and await a reply at some point in the future.

Take a peek below:

Hiccup was an intelligent boy, and he judged that it might be wiser to shut up. The Raptortongues, massive in size and very ferocious, were tossing him around like he was a piece of mackerel. Suddenly, a smudge appeared on the horizon, growing bigger by the second. The Raptortongues were flying straight for it. As they got closer, Hiccup realised that it was a ship. And what a ship it was! Hiccup thought the ship was here to save them. But then he saw the sail, dragon hunters! What, for Thor’s sake were these crazy Raptortongues doing, taking him to a dragon hunter’s ship? Just as they were about to drop him, a Giganticus maximus grabbed him and pulled him away from them. He flew away and dumped Hiccup on a sandy beach. Now, thanks to the dragon, he will definitely be last!


Hiccup was an intelligent boy, and he judged that it might be wiser to shut up. Hiccup was feeling dizzy, as the Raptortongues were flinging him around. He could feel their fiery breath. Eventually, a smudge appeared on the horizon, gradually getting bigger as it came. After a while, he realised that it was his hogfly. Loudly calling his dragon’s name, he kicked a Raptortongue’s foot, and within one second his hogfly had caught him.

The Raptortongues were so angry. They looked like they wanted to rip Hiccup into tiny pieces and eat him for dinner. Hiccup thought his hogfly was so stupid that it believed it was on land chasing butterflies. About a mile away, he could see a water storm and he was scared they would die! Then, he realised that a great Haddock always has a trick up his sleeve, so he put some special glasses on the hogfly’s eyes – and believe it or not – it worked. Hiccup said, “Blundering barnacles, get us back to land.” But gradually, as they got closer, they saw it was a volcano…


Hiccup was an intelligent boy, and he judged that it might be wiser to shut up. Just before the Raptortongues let him drop, Hiccup thought that he was going to plunge into the water. But by the long, furry, plaited beard of Thor, what was Fishleg’s long-eared caretaker dragon doing out here? He always stays in Fishleg’s slowly sinking hut, on one of the many boggy marshes on Berk. “Hello, Fishlegs and Hiccup, I thought I would come and watch you in the race, but then I saw the ugly, mean Raptortongues. So, I came over here, and I found you getting thrown around.” “Thanks, we really needed some help. I don’t know where the Raptortongues are taking us, but you can try to save us,” said Hiccup. “I know,” said the long-eared caretaker dragon, quite indignantly. “Okay,” said Hiccup, in a voice that was soothing (but he really wanted to say it in his running-around-screaming voice). “Just one moment,” said the long-eared caretaker dragon, “I need to wash.” “Why now?” yelled Hiccup. “Because I haven’t had one in days!” “Yes, we can tell,” said Stormfly and Toothless, scrunching up their noses, in disgust.