“Miss, can we do writing again?”
NOW THERE’S A PHRASE I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HEAR. But hear me out…
So I love teaching writing. I think, alongside reading, that writing is one of my favourite things to do. I will never be an author – I have huge amounts of respect for authors but I just don’t know that I have it in me! My Year 4 class are SUPER KEEN to do a lot of things (yeah there’s certain things they’re not so keen on, but they’ll always give it a go) and they really love it when we get to do a short piece of writing using a picture as stimulus.
One of their favourite things to do during writing sessions is use a stimulus to write about, using their senses. I give them 3/4 pictures to write about, they can only choose 1 – generally doing a setting description, get them to come up with their own success criteria using our Year 4 writing assessment sheets and give them 20 minutes to write. And my word. They could write for hours. We did this last Friday and although many of them didn’t write much, the things they had planned to write were exceptional – they will get more time to write and finish these descriptions this week. I am thinking about making a display using some of their writing because they genuinely blow me away.
I tend to have very little vocabulary input, as they are encouraged constantly to use our “new vocabulary wall”. Children need access to brilliant vocabulary to write brilliant vocabulary. I could say this 1000 times but children who READ a lot can write well. Some of my kids read like it’s going out of fashion and it’s telling in their writing.
“In the fresh, dark green forest there stood a colourful shining palace. Among the green trees, the little girl heard bluebirds chirping and she found the most beautiful palace she could find on earth”
“There in the middle of the forest a shadow covered the bright sunlight from reaching the soft green grass. The air smelled amazingly fresh as I slowly walked closer to a giant shadow. I could hear the birds singing a beautiful melody”
(Shout out to Mr Starr on twitter who shared his circles and ticks idea with me! Going to see if this helps presentation!)
These are just a few examples using a few pictures from Once Upon a Picture. There was so much more brilliant writing that I could share!
What are your favourite things about teaching writing?
Do you like teaching writing?
Do you have any fail safe writing activities that your class love doing?
I’d love to hear about writing in your classroom! Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!