It has been a ridiculously long time since I put my thoughts and ideas down on here. So much water has passed under the bridge…but my passion for learning has not wavered and with renewed energy and focus I will continue!
In many respects the title of the blog is apt…
Being a control freak I have rather enjoyed this newly discovered approach to crafting amazing writing with my Year 5 and 6 pupils. Browsing through blogs and Pinterest one day, I came across the idea of ‘slow writing’ where the writing process is controlled sentence by sentence to making vivid the impact of using a variety of sentence structures.
Using a photo or film clip as a stimulus I guide the children in creating a descriptive paragraph by creating a list of what each sentence structure must be…
1. Start the sentence with an -ly opener.
2. End with an exclamation mark.
3. Use a simile.
4. Use an emotion.
5. End with a question mark.
6. Use an ‘if, if, if, then’ sentence.
I linked this to Alan Peat sentence types that we had learned. I can’t recommend his resources highly enough, both his ‘Exciting Sentences’ books and apps are easy to use and effective.
I continued in this way for six or seven sentences. I taught this whole class, although the children worked individually and we shared and discussed good examples as we went (lots of opportunity for ‘magpieing’). The children really enjoyed the process as no one got stuck for ideas and they were really pleased with the resulting paragraph. The pace of writing was slow, but the learning was tangible. Children of all abilities discussed the impact of sentence types and experimented with words, no one was afraid of getting it wrong.
The impact was instant, children continued their writing specifically choosing sentences for effect! Try it…I will use it again soon and might challenge children to follow lists independently…my NQTs used it and loved it too.