I had a great two hour session today at a great school called Leamington Community Primary School in Liverpool. This Y6 workshop with a group of mixed ability children lasted two hours from 1pm to 3pm.
I thought I would share what we did because I really enjoyed myself and the children enjoyed the challenge too.
The aim of the lesson was to create a piece of writing that was both mysterious and filled with tension, based on a fairytale which the children were familiar with, Little Red Riding Hood.
I then modelled building interesting sentences using the language before the children practised and then shared their new sentences. We discussed how language could effect the atmosphere and mood of the piece so children set about creating new sentences using language such as rotting, decayed and shrouded for effect.
In order to enable the pupils to create a great opening sentence and get their narrative off to a great start I use 'Slow Writing' which is a method developed by David Didau @learningspy (read more here)
The prompts are shown below. In this two hour session I do not do a modelled write but briefly discuss each sentence with the group. Discussing points such as what would be a good emotion to use, which verbs are more powerful?
Click to enlarge these images of the opening paragraphs. You can see that they have attempted to use the 'Slow Writing' prompts to varying degrees of success.
Once children had completed their opening paragraphs we watched the second part of the film stimulus.
These short paragraphs were then written independently following the discussion. Some more freedom to write rather than the show writing technique.
This was a long session but we did try to fit a lot in. These last paragraphs possibly suffered due to time running out on us. The class teacher is going to revisit and redraft these in school later.
I wanted to demonstrate the process of scaffolding at the beginning and the gradual (usually) removal of those scaffolds in order to complete the narrative.
Thank you for reading, I welcome your comments and questions. Cheers Rob
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Rob from Literacy Shed