We have been spending a lot of time reflecting on our choices, explaining our methods and expanding on our thoughts in maths recently. It made me wonder why we don’t do the same when writing.
Over the last week we have been writing fantasy stories, set in far-off distant kingdoms, under the sea, inside volcanoes and, erm, on a football pitch (we talked about this). The children have enjoyed this but some have found it hard, particularly as writing fantasy stories relies heavily on creating a whole new world, and, ideally, a new fantastic point of view.
So the children have been busily imagining predators and prey, hunters and faeries, merbabies and Giders (a gorilla crossed with a spider), and as such have been trying to do the old ‘paint a picture’ thing – something they realise is more important than ever as nobody has actually ever visited their land other than themselves, in their heads.
We’ve encouraged the children to explain why they have chosen certain words or phrases in order to write more deliberately and effectively. Some examples are below.
This was an interesting exercise, not least because it shows at least one child is unsure about what a metaphor is, but because after writing these comments, lots of the children went away and changed what they had written. They edited, improved and rewrote. Some children loved their feedback partner’s idea so much that they ‘magpied’ part of it for themselves. Writing improved. Description improved. Children made deliberate choices – and, thanks to the blog, they were writing for the reader, not just the teacher. This has obvious links to reading as we begin to prepare for SATs, as well as developing understanding for the grammar terminology.
In addition, we (and when I say we, I really mean the children) quickly put together some videos on iMovie using photos, videos and the voiceover option (click here to see these). They were really easy to do and lots of the other children want to do the same when they’ve finished describing the shark that turns a cloud into gold with its death-ray.
Writing is fun, isn’t it?