At Cam Everlands we teach writing using an approach called 'Talk For Writing.'
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular type of text (this could be a story or a non-chronological report about badgers) orally before they try reading and writing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to develop their writing, children are helped to write in the same style.
Talk for Writing is developed over three stages:
- The imitation stage – Each unit begins with the teacher sharing an engaging, topic related text with the children. As a class, or in groups, children create actions to accompany the oral re-telling of the story. They also create story maps, using pictures and symbols, to depict actions and events from the text. Children then explore the key ingredients and language that make the text work and build a tool kit of important features to use when writing their own versions of the text.
- The innovation stage – This stage of the process is where children and teachers work together closely using the structure of the example text but changing certain aspects to make it different in some way. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases. This stage begins with shared writing between teacher and pupils and develops into children working with peers to edit and review their work regularly as they re-write their own versions.
- The invention stage – This stage is where children write their own text on a different topic but based on the structure and genre of the example text and using the key features they picked out and placed into their toolkit.
- An example - The given text could be an adventure story about space with an exciting event in the middle. During the invention stage children may be asked to write an adventure story but based at the funfair (linked to current topic of Fairgrounds). They would follow the structure of the space story and utilise some of the exciting story language used in it but they would change the setting, maybe the characters and the exciting event to make it into a different story. Children who are confident writers may change all of these things where as children who are less confident may change smaller aspects, still making it their own story.
Please see the website www.talk4writing.co.uk/ for more information. We will also be inviting parents into school later in the year to see Talk for Writing in action in the classrooms.