One of our school improvement targets is to ‘further improve and develop writing’. In order to do this we have implemented Talk for Writing across the school.
Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.
During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention stage, children write their own text independently.
Imitation - Telling a story
A text is introduced and read to the children; together the class learn to tell the story. 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.
Innovation – Changing a story
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, day by day. Pupils receive next day feedback at this stage in the form of 'Green for Great' comments (areas of success) and 'Pink to Make You Think' (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.
Invention or Independent Application- Writing my own story
The final stage is the invention stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt over the last few weeks 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. We then provide further opportunities across the curriculum for transferable skills. E.g if in English they have learnt how to write a set of instructions, we will ensure they have further opportunities to use these skills in our topic work.
If you have any questions about Talk for Writing please speak to Mrs Losada
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