inspiring writing

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					Jacari                                                                    Wk 3, HT 2009

                               Inspiring Writing

What is expected at each key stage in terms of writing skills (more information in
the National Curriculum, available on the Jacari website under ‘Resources’ or in
hard copy from the Jacari library):

   Key stage 1 (age 5-7) Children write to communicate to others (you could
    think about postcards, thank-you notes, instructions), create imaginary worlds
    (e.g. writing a poem about a place and the people who live there based on a
    picture they have seen), explore experience (e.g. writing about a place they
    have visited, writing captions for photos) and to organise and explain
    information (e.g. making a list of things to buy for a party).

    Children should use a clear sequence and structure in their writing and
    review it (read it through when they have finished writing).

   Key stage 2 (age 7-11) Children write to imagine and explore feelings and
    ideas, thinking about creative use of language and how to interest the reader
    (e.g. writing a poem or play script based on one they have read). Readers
    should include other children and adults.

    Children write reports and explanations in the right amount of detail to explain
    and inform readers about the subject matter (e.g. writing a report on their
    local park and what they would like to be added to it).

    Children can write to persuade, thinking about persuasive       language and
    providing evidence (e.g. writing a letter to persuade their     school to ban
    school uniform). They also write reviews and commentaries       on things they
    have read/ seen/ heard, including their own opinions (e.g.      writing a book

    Children should recognise the difference in style needed between captions,
    notes for themselves and formal work. When writing, they should plan, draft,
    revise, proofread and then evaluate their work.

   Key stage 3 (age 11-14) and 4 (14-16) Pupils should write with the
    audience in mind, e.g. specific readers, themselves, a large unknown
    audience. They can write to imagine, explore, and entertain, using
    imaginative vocabulary and language structure to make their work interesting
    (e.g. story, poem, play script, autobiography, diary).

    Pupils write to inform, explain and describe, comparing information as
    appropriate and identifying cause and effect. They know when to use
    impersonal language, include relevant detail and think about layout (e.g.
    information leaflet, prospectus, summary, plans).
Jacari                                                                                          Wk 3, HT 2009

     Pupils can also write to persuade, argue, and advise, using logical arguments
     and giving evidence. As well as using appropriate language, they can
     anticipate the reaction of the reader and include counterarguments (e.g.
     adverts, letters expressing opinions, campaign literature).

     Pupils can write to analyse, review and comment, and understand the
     difference between fact and opinions. They form and express their own
     opinions (e.g. reviews, magazine articles, reports).

     For all of these areas, pupils think about how to layout their work to best
     effect (e.g. fonts, placement of pictures and graphs) and write clearly,
     conveying information that is relevant to the reader.

     See resource book in Jacari library.


While it is easy enough to set your pupil some written work, it is important to
remember that if the work isn’t engaging, exciting or varied then eventually they
may start to lose interest and motivation.

A few ideas for motivating various types of writing (obviously these are all age-
and ability-dependent):

  Ask them to write a summary of a book or other piece of text which they
   have been reading (or which you have read together) and which they have
   found interesting, making sure to ask them for specific information, as well as
   some opinions and thoughts, e.g. most interesting character and why, what
   they would have done differently if they were in the same position as that
   character (obviously, exactly what you ask of your pupil for this depends
   entirely on their ability)

  Ask them to write a letter to either a character in a book they have been
   reading, or someone mentioned in a non-fiction article, in which they express
   their own views to the character/person on a certain issue facing them, and
   suggest a course of action.

  Ask them to pretend they are a particular character in a book, writing a
   letter to another character, discussing something that is going on in the
   story (lots of options here, very context specific).

  Ask them to write a newspaper report describing an event which has
   occurred within a book, presenting the facts, as well as the opinions of those
   involved where applicable, and quotes where possible. Try to guide the
   construction of the report along journalistic lines as much as possible,
   perhaps showing example newspaper reports, asking them to identified and
   reproduce key elements.
Jacari                                                                    Wk 3, HT 2009

  Use newspaper articles (particularly those discussing two sides of a
   contentious issue) as stimuli: read through, discuss the opinions within the
   article, ask your pupil’s opinion, then have them write a persuasive letter to
   the editor on the topic.

  Provide your pupil with a list of random-ish words, and ask them to come up
   with a story including all the words given.

  Have your pupil think up and write down a sentence or two introducing
   someone doing something fairly mundane, e.g. walking around Oxford
   shopping. Meanwhile, you write a sentence or two describing an incredible,
   absolutely surreal event occurring to that person. Then, the task for your
   pupil is to write the story in between their part and your part, telling the
   story of how the character came to be in the situation which you have put
   them in, and then how they got out of it.

These are just a few ways of inspiring a variety of different styles of writing in a
creative and hopefully quite exciting way.

(A quick Google search for ‘creative [or persuasive, or factual, etc.] writing
ideas for kids’ brings up loads of pages with countless different ideas and
resources for interesting and original writing tasks)

                            Jacari Teaching Committee:
                       Ros Whiteley & Richard Watts-Huston