Evidence of Dragons


Sightings of Dragons by Pie Corbett Below is a free downloadable PDF based on a unit of work that Pie has created and used with a Year 4 class. The unit includes diary entries, persuasive writing, shared writing, boxing up a recount and features four model texts. Download the PDF of the document below. Download Evidence of Dragons PDF here

Article: Creating a playful poem


Playing with words and ideas by Pie Corbett Download a PDF of this text here . Several years ago, we ran this little unit of creative work. Here is what happened. The poem ‘The Cave of Curiosity’ is based on the simple idea of creating a place (cave) and linking it to an abstract idea (curiosity). To begin, we played an abstract noun game. Divide the children into pairs and sort them into ‘A’s and ‘B’s. On their mini whiteboards, ‘A’s write a list of common nouns that are places, such as park, pavement, castle, cave, etc. ‘B’s write a list of abstract nouns. It can be helpful for the children if you explain that these are things you cannot touch and with some classes brainstorm a list, e.g. happiness, jealousy, greed, kindness, etc. Some children came up with what we called ‘magical’ nouns such as stars, clouds, moon and we added those to the list of abstract nouns. Collect as many of their ideas as you can on the flipchart and show the children how they can combine their ‘A’s and ‘B’s in a variety of ways. Help the children put their ideas together. They might have a mountain summit of majesty or a tower of air or they might prefer a mountain of imagination or a tower of taste. Encourage them to say their ideas out loud and listen to the effect. We wanted them to surprise the reader with new and startling combinations and amazing juxtapositions, avoiding cliches. Having done this, we read ‘The Cave of Curiosity’ and ‘In the City of Silences’. We read the first poem several times, with the children joining in on the second [...]

Document: Describing Gollum


"My precious..."  Describing Gollum Talk for Writing trainer, Dean Thompson, has created a free downloadable PowerPoint for descriptive writing based on Gollum. As Dean explains, "The Describing Gollum resource was designed for a Year 6 class focusing on using quality texts to develop children's writing tools. The aim was to try and capture some of the style and tools of Tolkien to develop children's description of character. First, we used film and images of Gollum to bank ideas and vocabulary. The teacher and the children then had a go at describing Gollum using the vocabulary generated and the writing tools they had already internalised in previous teaching. The passage from the Hobbit was then used for shared reading. The class discussed the vocabulary and comprehension before the text was closely analysed line-by-line, pulling out the tools that Tolkien used to create his character. The children then returned to their writing and edited and redrafted, using some of the toolkit that the teacher and children had co-constructed. The PowerPoint presentation is meant as a teacher resource with some notes to support the analysis of the text and tools. There are examples of children's writing before and after the close reading to see the impact. The comprehension and toolkit should however be co-constructed with the class rather than just shared.' Download a PDF of the PowerPoint document below. Download PDF here

Document: Suspense Toolkit


Document: Suspense Toolkit This free two-page PDF, written by Pie Corbett and Julia Strong, shows how the tools to create suspense in writing progress from the Early Years through Y1&2, 3&4 and 5&6. It also includes useful ideas for teachers to support the teaching of these features. Download the PDF document here . A full set of progression toolkits for the six key features underpinning narrative writing (settings, suspense, characterisation, dialogue, description and openings& endings) will be available later this year in our new publication Talk for Writing: creating effective fiction writers.

Document: Apostrophe Game


Click below to download a PDF of an apostrophe sorting game created by Julia Strong and referenced in the Jumpstart! Grammar book. Download the file below, cut it up and then ask the children to sort the different uses of the apostrophe into their different categories. Download a PDF version of the game here.

Document: ‘Tricky Grammar’ PowerPoint


Those of you who have looked at the 2016 sample test paper will know that, unfortunately, the naming of parts (and some of them very obscure) is gaining ground and additional terminology has been added. To help teachers confidently rise to this challenge while integrating the grammar into model texts and engaging the children, we have provided a free training PowerPoint plus related resources. This PowerPoint supplements Jumpstart! Grammar which, if you haven’t purchased already, we suggest you buy here. Before using this resource for training all staff, we suggest that you try out the ideas with a small group of staff so you can build up your confidence and understanding of some of the trickier aspects. Please be aware that this is  large PowerPoint file containing 57 slides. It may therefore take some time to download. Download the PDF document here