Independent writing The aim of Talk for Writing is to grow independent writers. Here are some suggestions for how this can be achieved first in relation to narrative and then non-fiction. I then look at how such independence can be prepared for through the innovation stage of the imitation, innovation, independent application process. Independent narrative writing As the children build up experience of writing stories, there should also be opportunities to write freely, drawing on everything that they have been taught. At the end of units, many schools have developed short ‘really independent’ units where the teacher provides a motivating starting point and the children write whatever they wish. Children never become independent readers until they choose what to read, developing their own taste for different authors and styles; in the same way, children are not writers until they make their own choices about what to write. Here are a few examples of KS2 units that provide time for children to write entirely independently drawing on the taught units. Start from a great stimulus and then list the possibilities with the class. They can then choose what to write. Provide a number of days for them to plan, draft, edit and publish their own writing: Example 1: ‘Stranded’ The children have been shipwrecked on a desert island. The children could: • draw maps of the island; write diary entries and stories about the storm, logging the first few days of survival and even the rescue; • find images of desert islands and write an advert for an island holiday; • Invent their own island – draw the map and write a leaflet about its flora and fauna; • Write a monologue revealing the stranded sailor’s [...]
How to innovate on non-fiction How to innovate on a model text most effectively is a frequently asked question. In this short downloadable article, Pie outlines the various stages to consider. Download the PDF document here
The Tree Giant is a one-page story written by Pie Corbett to demonstrate an example of a 'recount' or 'information report'. This resource could be used as a starting point for non-fiction report writing when combined with the Talk for Writing approach. Download 'The Tree Giant' as a Word document.