We use ‘Talk for Writing’ as an approach for teaching English. It is a fun and creative approach to developing writers of all ages which supports the development of reading skills, vocabulary and grammar.
Pre-unit assessment (The Cold Task)
Before the children begin a unit of learning, they will have a go at a piece of writing in relation to the text type/ plot type being taught. This is to inform the teacher of any gap in learning and address any misconceptions in that style of writing.
The first phrase of the writing process is ‘Imitation’. This starts by enjoying and sharing a story or piece of non-fiction.
To help the children remember the text a multi-sensory approach is used:
· A visual story map
· A focus on lively, animated expression
As children learn the stories word for word, they develop the use of specific sentence structures, which they can then use in their own writing. The principle is that if a child can tell a story, they will be able to write a story.
Reading around other texts and exploring vocabulary is vital. Through regular reading, we want children to build a repertoire of vocabulary that is rich and extensive for them to use in their own writing.
In this stage, the original text is adapted by the children. This could start with a simple change of character or for the older children it may involve telling the story from a different view point. Children will make changes to their story map and rehearse retelling their innovated story orally.
Children then write out the innovated story in manageable sections. Pupils receive next day feedback at this stage in the form of ‘Good to be Green’ comments (areas of success) and ’Think Pink’ comments (areas to develop). There is an opportunity to respond to this marking, before writing the next section.
It is a very supportive and structured approach so children gain confidence and know what they need to do in order to get better.
Independent Application (The Hot Task)The final stage is the invention stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt over their unit of learning to write an independent piece. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to the shared text should they need to.
You can see which text type and specific text your child is learning on our Curriculum Map, located on the school website.