Amazingly enough

Amazingly enough, when Sophie told her teacher that she didn’t really like writing anymore, her teacher didn’t seem to mind. “I’ve got a great idea,” her teacher said, “why don’t we stop worrying so much about the sentence starters, and focus on why you might want to write in the first place instead?” Sophie shrugged. She wasn’t sure anymore why she might want to write. It didn’t seem very interesting. The next day her teacher told her that she could have a journal. Sophie could write whatever she  wanted to in it and her teacher promised not to cover it in highlighters and comments, or insist that she redraft it. “Come outside,” her teacher said, guiding her gently. “See the tarmac ground and the brick wall? You could write on them with this chalk too.” Her teacher handed her a chalk. It was white. It felt dusty in her hand. “Write so that other people get to read what you have to say. It’s not paint by numbers, you know, Sophie.” Good point, Sophie thought.

That night Sophie read a book. Sophie noticed that the book had some fronted adverbials in it, although she didn’t spot any semi colons. Sophie read a lot of books. When she read them she heard the authors speaking in her head. And then something strange happened. Amazingly enough (yes, it’s hard to believe) she could feel how to write by herself.

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4 Responses to Amazingly enough

  1. Peritract says:

    I worry a lot about how far away from good writing we have to take them in order to produce writing that the mark scheme sees as good.

    I shouldn’t be about deliberate and obvious use of advanced punctuation, or stuffing deliberate tense shifts in when not needed. But data apparently demands that we teach bad, clunky writing and call it good.

    Like

  2. Abby says:

    I’m really struggling with how to teach the curriculum and tick the boxes, which I have to for my job, but also not teaching bad writing, as I feel like I’m forced to through what the curriculum demands. If you have any wisdom Sue, I’m all ears!

    Like

    • suecowley says:

      I would let them write without telling them how to do it, and then work on identifying what they can already do, and what they need to know next. Also I would experiment with ‘lots of’ something like fronted adverbials and semi colons, but also with very plain writing, no sentence starters/fancy punctuation at all. I’d use resources as well – shells, pine cones, keys, all that good stuff. I think we need to get them thinking first, rather than trying to do all the thinking for them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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