At Lace Hill Academy we follow a primary approach called Talk for Writing to support teaching and learning in writing.
What is Talk for Writing?
Talk for Writing is an approach to teaching and developing children as accomplished writers. Established by Pie Corbett and supported by Julia Strong, Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style as the focus text, developing confidence and a passion for writing.
How does it work in your child’s classroom?
The approach is built upon three key stages that are revisited each time a new text is introduced. These are named: imitation, innovation and independent application.
During this stage the children take part in a selection of activities to help them to internalise the pattern of language within the focus text. This is often followed by talking a focus text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way, the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down.
Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. Children learn about the structure of the text by ‘boxing up’ each section and they create a toolkit which helps them to make sure they have the key ingredients within their independent writing later in the final stage.
An example of a Year 1 text map.
When children know the text well they move onto the innovation stage where they begin to merge their ideas and those from the focus text. They begin by altering their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version of the focus text. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases in a safe way by continually revisiting key language and ideas from the focus text.
An example of an innovated text map with new ideas and language added to the original one with post it notes.
In this stage the children write their own invented story based on the ideas and key language of the focus text. They use the toolkit that was created in the innovation stage to act as a checklist, making sure they have included all of the good ingredients that they have learnt from the unit of work. They plan their writing using the text map or boxing up format and then use this as a framework to keep referring back to as they write. At this stage the children are brimming with ideas and key language that they want to get on the page.
An example of a year 2 child’s plan and invented story based on the story Click, Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin
How is your child’s work assessed?
Your child’s writing skills are assessed throughout each unit and also through their independent writing in other curriculum subjects like science, history and geography. Your child’s teacher will measure their written skills progression using the Year Gruo Assessment statements for writing. Please click here to see the list of statements for each year group..All teachers regularly work with colleagues from other schools to discuss and compare judgements.
It is an exciting time here at Lace Hill and we look forward to observing how Talk for Writing works with our children and measuring the impact of it as they move through the school.
If you would like to see Talk for Writing in action then please watch this clip of Pie Corbett
If you would like to find out more about Talk for Writing please visit http://www.talk4writing.co.uk