50 Ways Children Can Improve Their Writing

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while.

My understanding of pupil conferencing (the process of talking and giving advice to children whilst they are undertaking their writing) has got much better, sharper and focused since I first wrote about it here. The list below takes in the most common  and valuable advice I give to my apprentice writers. Some of the advice here comes too from Gary Provost’s book 100 Ways To Improve Your Writing.  Like any good writer-teacher, everything below is advice I try and enact for myself too.

Anyway – I’ll leave you to read. I hope you find some of it useful.

50 Ways Children Can Improve Their Writing

  1. Read. Read a lot and read all sorts of things.
  2. Set up a writing club.
  3. Ask your teacher to become a writer-teacher so they can teach you how writers really work.
  4. Think about what you’re writing as you go about your day.
  5. Have a particular time in the day where you’ll sit down and write something.
  6. Copy something. Find some writing that you like and copy it, change part of it or re-invent it completely.
  7. Keep a journal but only write in it when you feel the need to.
  8. Talk to people about what you’re writing. Share your writing with people. Ask them what it might need. Importantly, find the bit they think is most interesting and focus on that.
  9. Always dabble and dabble often. Dabble around with little notes, words, phrases, ideas, pictures, lists, plans, descriptions and thoughts before you begin a draft or a plan.
  10. Know who you are writing for. Who might you be giving the writing to?
  11. Only write on ideas or topics you’re interested in. If you’re not enjoying it, abandon it and maybe you’ll come back to it another time or maybe you won’t. Either way, it’s alright.
  12. Find your diamond moment. In your mountain of an idea, find that one special diamond moment – the most important reason for writing what you’re writing and focus on it. Treat it with care, think about it a lot and make it shine.
  13. Don’t start too far upstream. Don’t start your writing too far away from the roar of the waterfall. Your diamond moment is often your waterfall. Don’t mention unnecessary boring things. If you do, make sure you cut it from your final piece.
  14. Try out different openers before picking your favourite one. Story openers can include: question, description, action, shock/surprise or monologue.
  15. Steal. Always be on the look-out for little phrases, characters, ideas you’d like to use as part of your own writing.
  16. If you don’t know what to write next, talk to someone. Tell them what still needs to be said. Otherwise, it’s often because you want to move on in time or place. You can do this by starting a new paragraph or by using a time or place opener. Meanwhile, over the other side of town, or After a few full moons.
  17. Get up out of your seat and perform your writing – act it out. Do this while you’re writing but also perform your writing once it’s finished. 
  18. When describing a setting think about: the weather, time of day and the historical period. What could your setting be compared to? If your setting was a person, what would they be like and how would they behave? What is your character’s mood and feelings towards this setting?
  19. Stop your writing when you have nothing else left to say and don’t feel bad about it.
  20. Stop and listen to what you’ve written so far. Do this all the time! Make sure you read out loud too! Check for ‘sticky bits’. These are bits that don’t come out of your mouth too smoothly. Fix them.
  21. Write with a friend. Write as a team. Write with your writer-teacher. Write with someone at home.
  22. Try to write how you would talk to someone.
  23. Show, don’t tell. Sometimes cut out words like is, was, are and were as these are telling words and replace them by showing your readers what is happening instead. The boy is walking up the hill instead becomes the red-faced boy, heaving, complaining and puffing away, really struggles to get himself to the top of the hill.
  24. Remember, you are often painting a film in your reader’s mind. What do you want them to see on the screen? Use both wide views and close ups.
  25. Pretend you are a mind reader. Listen in to what your characters are thinking and share this with your readers. As the narrator, try not to get involved in the story.
  26. Provide proof by giving your reader tiny little details – little things that only you have noticed about your characters.
  27. The climax to a story should be there to prove something.
  28. Dabble a lot about your main character in a story. Answer some of these questions before you begin writing: What are you disguising your character as?

    What would you compare them to?

    Sight: What do they look like

    Smell: What might they smell like?

    Touch: What is their mood like and what would they feel like to touch?

    Sound: What do they sound like and what might they say?

    Action: What might they do and how they might do it?

    Taste: If your character had a taste, what would they taste like?

    What do they spend their time thinking about?

    What’s their reputation? What do other people think of them?

    How do they live their life?

  29. Write down a couple of potential endings to your story – you don’t have to keep to any of them but it’s good to have an idea of how it could end before you begin. Strong endings include a message, feeling, action, uncertain or happy ending.
  30. Use hyperbole, exaggerate or even bend the truth completely when writing memoirs or prose poems.
  31. Use imagism. This is where you can’t say what you think or feel – you can only describe it.
  32. Be playful and silly with words. Use puns, alliteration and repetition. Don’t count your owls before they are delivered… Don’t cry over spilt potion and Terrible teeth in his terrible jaws? He has knobble knees, and turned-out toes or It rapped. It grated. It snarled. It scarpered. It shrieked. It growled.
  33. Compare a person, place or thing to something else. The teacher was a witch and A sea of chaos or Dark clouds raced across it like wild horses.
  34. Pretend that a place or a thing can behave like a person. The cruel waves screamed and swallowed the boat and Trees are scratching at the sky or I heard a plane threading the clouds high above us.
  35. Write using a variety of senses. What do you notice, hear, taste, taste, touch, smell and think?
  36. Remember, the first draft of anything is usually pretty rubbish.
  37. Think about and sometimes replace your nouns for nouns that pack more meaning into a small space. People becomes strangers, light becomes glare and beach becomes the water’s edge.
  38. Modify only one or two slots in a sentence. [The pilot] [took off] [his helmet] becomes [The battle-weary pilot] [struggled to remove] [his helmet].
  39. Use strong verbs. Sharpen what you actually mean when you use a verb by being utterly precise. Broke becomes shattered, hug becomes clutched and pushed becomes jostled.
  40. Give a specific image of something rather than a general one. Picture a cat. Now picture a black cat. Now picture a black cat with shiny silver paws. You can see the cat more clearly as it becomes more specific.
  41. Spend most of your time focusing and writing about your characters.
  42. Share your opinion. Say what you think. Share how you feel. Talk about what you believe.
  43. Use and share anecdotes. Share stories from your own life. Use these in your poetry, stories and non-fiction writing.
  44. Don’t use words you don’t know the meaning of and don’t use so many big words that your reader has to dash for the dictionary every five minutes!
  45. If you are going to share your opinion or an anecdote in your non-fiction writing – do it at the beginning or at the end.
  46. Spend time thinking about your title. Don’t put the first thing that comes into your head. Use your favourite line or create a title with a sense of intrigue.
  47. Re-read and improve. Some writers will re-read and improve their writing over a 100 times. You should give it at least a day though before you start. Never revise a draft the same day you finished it. Re-reading and improving can mean cutting, adding or replacing words, phrases, paragraphs or even changing the whole thing!
  48. Proofread your work at least four times using the CUPS technique. 1st for Capitalisation, 2nd for Use of vocabulary, 3rd for Punctuation and finally correct your Spellings.
  49. Write for the pleasure it brings you and/or for the pleasure of sharing your writing with others.
  50. Finally, don’t always listen to these tips. Writing is an art, not a science.
Advertisements

Research Report: What Do Children Think Of A Writing For Pleasure Pedagogy?

This is a summary report of a mixed method action research project. The research looked to ascertain children’s opinions of being taught through a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy. This is then compared to a dominant or otherwise ‘typical’ writing pedagogy. Finally, the merits and limitations of both pedagogies are considered. The research findings are based on a combination of quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interview) data collected from children aged ten to eleven.

Last year, year five pupils at a local authority school in Brighton, UK were taught through what is termed a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy. These children then returned to a ‘typical’ pedagogy in year six. The children were asked to consider their thoughts and opinions on both pedagogies discreetly before being asked what both pedagogies could learn from each other.

You can download our report summary here:

What Do Children Think Of A Writing For Pleasure Pedagogy

writing for pleasure report

How To Get The Most Out Of ‘Free-Writing Fridays’

Why do we have free-writing Fridays?

I think and worry about this a lot. I have no doubt that most of us will think children enjoy these days – at least at first. We will also think it’s a good thing for children to do. I worry, though, because I suspect that many of us will be disappointed in or misunderstand the ‘results’ we get from such days. I worry that many of us will be concerned about the perceived ‘quality’ of what our children produce. ‘Results’ won’t match expectations. I also worry that many of us will ultimately feel guilty because we haven’t put a structure in place for this particular activity, and will fear that free-writing Fridays will end up just being a waste of time.

However, we as teachers aren’t justified in feeling disappointment, because what we are asking the children to do is really very difficult for them. Consider this. From their earliest years, children have always wanted to ‘write’ and they happily mark-make and come up with ideas for their writing without any problem at all.

Image result for emergent writing

However, once these children enter formal schooling, this desire is largely extinguished and the opportunity taken away. Over the years, we have instead ‘told’ them the following:

  • (a) That they don’t have anything worth writing about and so we will choose it for them,
  • (b) Then, we tell them how to write it.

All of a sudden, on free -writing Fridays, we do just the opposite and ask children to generate ideas and (possibly) see some of these ideas through to publication without proper support and instruction on how to write for themselves. No wonder children struggle. Because of this, it may look like personal writing time is ineffectual or that the children are losing interest. But it’s not the children’s fault! Believe me, children want to write. And they do want to write their own things. They have simply forgotten or have never been shown how to write for themselves, on topics which interest them, and for their own purposes.

What we should conclude if personal writing time becomes a disappointment is that our writing teaching may well need changing. It needs to change so that we are teaching children how they can write successfully for themselves. What we shouldn’t do is blame the children for what we perceive as the failure of free-writing Fridays. Children need instruction and, most importantly, modelling about how authors generate ideas for writing. That’s usually the crux of why children struggle and it happens because, during class writing projects, generating ideas is the one writing process that is not routinely taught. Instead, we do it for them.

So how to help children get the most out of personal writing project time? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Generate ideas together for class writing projects. Stop supplying subjects for class writing projects. Instead, allow children to do this important work! For too long, children have been recipients of writing projects as opposed to participants. Change this. There are a number of ways in which you can have children generate ideas. You could use some of the techniques real authors use. We’ve made these available for free in our Writing-Study lesson pack. You could use one of these techniques as a whole class. You could gather around some flipchart paper and together brainstorm ideas until you find one you all like the sound of. Alternatively, you can ask the children to use the technique in groups or in pairs and share their good ideas with the whole class. Finally, you can ask the children to try out these techniques on their own – in their books. The crucial point is that you are teaching children real author techniques they can then go on to use for themselves during personal writing time.

2 Model idea generation techniques at the beginning of personal writing sessions.

There are numerous techniques in our Writing-Study pack that both fiction and non-fiction writers use to generate ideas so why not try some of these techniques for yourself and model for the children how they can use them too? You can do this as a short mini-lesson at the start of personal project time. Easy!

  1. Start using process goals during class writing projects.

What are process goals and how do you use them? A process goal is an aspect of the writing process. They are typically called: generating ideas, prewriting/dabbling/planning, drafting, revising/re-reading and improving, editing/proof-reading and publishing/performing. When planning or teaching a class writing project set a process goal you want the children to complete and give them a deadline which runs over a few days – not just one session! Once the children have completed the class’ process goal, they can spend the rest of their time pursuing their personal projects. This means they don’t just write for their own purposes one day a week anymore. We have written about process goals in more detail here.  

4.Set up class publishing houses

Writing is a highly social act. Sometimes we write only for ourselves but often we write because we want to be sociable. Writing is often about both process and product. It is about enjoying crafting some writing but it is also about the satisfaction that comes with seeing a piece of writing through to publication! This is no different for children.The prospect of seeing their words ‘get to work’ is highly motivating. Why not allow children to have an end goal of publishing their favourite writings into the class library? They can do this through one of the class’ publishing houses. We established this last year, and you can read about how to do it for yourself here.

  1. Let the children be sociable

Let children write together – let them talk together. Speaking and writing are so closely related. Talking to someone or working alongside someone on a piece of writing can be really helpful. Allow children to work with others and to share and mould their manuscripts with trusted friends. Let children ask one another for potential writing ideas and let them copy one another. Let them work in ‘clusters’ on a similar theme. Let them do their own versions of writing they have read. In this way you will be helping them sustain their enjoyment of the writing.

  1. Write amongst the children

What better way to show children how to use personal writing time productively than to share with them how you use it yourself? You should be writing yourself with regularity. You should seek the advice of your fellow apprentice writers and you should be contributing to the class library like everybody else in your community of writers. By doing this, you’ll experience the joys and struggles that they often have too. You can address these and make the writing environment even more productive. You will also learn valuable writing lessons along the way and you can share these with your fellow writers – you may even learn a thing or two from them. It’s important that you too are sociable during these times. Ask the children around you to check your manuscript and ask for their advice.

  1. Let personal writing projects go home

In a reading for pleasure pedagogy, if you let children read enough at school they want to carry on at home. They get an appetite for it and they get ‘on a roll’. The same can be said for personal writing projects. If motivated, allow children to continue working on their manuscripts at home. Let personal writing books go to and from home freely – just as their reading books do.  

Peter Elbow & Free-Writing

Finally, just a quick note on terminology. We like to use the phrase ‘personal writing projects’ instead of free-writing. We also quite like ‘free choice writing’. We use this phrase because ‘free-writing’ is actually an incredibly useful and popular writing technique used by some authors. It was popularised by the writer Peter Elbow and it’s a technique we teach the children in our class. The technique is about writing – without delay – without stopping – for around 10 to 15 minutes. You can write with or without a topic in mind. It’s seen as a kind pre-writing activity. Once your time is up, you can search through what you’ve written for any interesting themes that you might want to develop further.

***

If you liked this blog post, you may also like to read about our approach to writing we call Real-World Literacy.

If you would like to receive updates from our blog, you can click the follow button in the top right-hand-corner of the page. Alternatively, you can follow us on twitter at @lit4pleasure or join our writing for pleasure community @WritingRocks_17

 

Writing For Pleasure CPD Review

Hi dear Writing For Pleasure friends!

This is just a quick post to share the CPD review from our UKLA Writing For Pleasure conference. It was created by the wonderful writer-teacher Sadie Phillips. You can find Sadie on Twitter @SadiePhillips

Sadie also has a blog at: https://literacywithmissp.wordpress.com/

Click on the image below to download her review as a PDF

Slide1

The Diamond Moment: One Of The Most Precious Writing Lessons You Can Teach

The Diamond Moment: One Of The Most Precious Writing Lessons You Can Teach

This is how I write. I take a moment – an image, a memory, a phrase, an idea – and I hold it in my hands and declare it a treasure – Lucy Calkins.

This was one of the most profound and long-lasting writing lessons I taught last year. It was something both myself and the children in my class would return to and talk about time and time again. By the end of the year, children understood and could articulate themselves when I asked: What is the ‘diamond moment’ here?

At the beginning of the year, I noticed that many of the children, whilst great at coming up with universal topics for writing – were unable to zoom in on the quality of the topic. It was too ‘universal’. Too large. Too general. When I finally gave this lesson – a lesson on finding the moment – the briefest of moments in a topic that are most significant to write about – the children’s writing transformed. It became part of our class meta-language and I hope something the children will keep as a lesson for a lifetime.

We must look for the significance within the experience – the personal response to it – not a bland recalling of events past. – Loane (p.5)

It was in our class writing project on memoir that the lesson was first taught. It was an attempt to focus the children on the personal and poetic significance of the experience they wished to to retell. In many ways, children took what would otherwise be the most ordinary of events and made them sound and read as extraordinary. It worked beautifully. It was about adding more than a ‘recount of a past event’. Where was the significance – where was the poetry? Where were the details? Where was the storytelling?

What was realised by myself and the children was that actually – you don’t need to have been to Disneyland or a Caribbean island to have something memorable to write about.

We can all see the difference between students simply telling something that happened to them and actually revealing something of themselves in expressing what it means for them. – Loane (p.45)

To this day, this writing project was the best I’ve ever conducted. What surprised me though was how the concept of searching for that diamond moment could be translated to all other genres.

It is not uncommon for any of us to feel that we have nothing in our lives worth writing about, but through immersion in stories, real and imagined, we see and hear the multitude of universal experiences being recorded. – Loane (p.5)

The idea of a ‘diamond moment’ began to be used in the children’s story writing and non-fiction projects. Children were able to turn massive epic sagas into short, snappy and wholly entertaining flash-fictions. Their non-fiction texts all of a sudden had a new sharper focus – explaining and sharing personally significant things – things that they truly cared about – to their readers.

If you liked this blog post, you may also like to read about our approach to writing we call Real-World Literacy.

If you would like to receive updates from our blog, you can click the follow button in the top right-hand-corner of the page. Alternatively, you can follow us on twitter at @lit4pleasure

References:

  • Atwell, N. (2014). In the Middle: Writing, reading, and learning with adolescents, (3rd Ed) Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Calkins, L. (1998) The art of teaching writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Loane, G., (2016) Developing Young Writers: I’ve got something to say London: Routledge
  • Rosen, M., (1998) Did I hear you write? London: Five Leaves Publication

FREE Pamphlet: Explorative Considerations For Teaching Greater Depth Writers

A colleague at work set me the challenge of considering whether it was possible to teach writing to greater depth. I went back to the research which informed our Writing For Pleasure pedagogy and found a couple of articles which looked specifically at gifted and talent writers to see what they had to say. I also used a few pieces of literature on good writing teaching to help me. The pamphlet below provides information and practical advice on what I found out. For references, please see the end of this pamphlet.

DOWNLOAD the pamphlet for FREE here:

greaterdepthpic

If you liked this blog post, you may also like to read: How to give greater depth writers the teaching they deserve.

If you would like to receive updates from our blog, you can click the follow button in the top right-hand-corner of the page. Alternatively, you can follow us on twitter at @lit4pleasure

 

How to give your greater depth writers the teaching they deserve

How to give your greater depth writers the teaching they deserve

When I was ten and a new pupil at secondary school, I wrote my first set homework assignment for R.E. – a recount of the one of the seven plagues of Egypt. After a few days my book came back with the comment (in a mean little script written in red pen): Is this all your own work? Mortified, because it was my own work and I’d written it like a story, with my usual enthusiasm and emotional investment, I approached the teacher on the pretext that I hadn’t been able to read her comment. “Well,” came the reply,” it was so vivid.” I said I had written it myself, but I could see she didn’t believe me. To this day I still feel the injury to my early strong sense of myself as a writer, and the need I had to own and assert my talent, though of course in those days, when the teacher was the ultimate authority figure, it didn’t make any difference to her judgment.

Having read the small body of research (Garrett & Moltzen 2011 & Gagne 2000 & 2003) on the topic of gifted and talented young writers, I think I would in the past have qualified as such. I was a self-styled Jo March, with a drive to write from a very early age. I wrote out of desire, with engagement, pleasure, absorption, satisfaction, as escapism too. I wrote a great deal at home – stories, unfinished novels, programmes for shows put on with friends in somebody’s backyard, started a magazine with me as editor –  one issue a month, in which I remember trying to serialize ‘Coral Island’ for some reason. Also, aged six, a letter to the BBC (wireless!) asking for another series of ‘The Windjammers’ – swashbuckling adventures on the high seas, listened to avidly on Children’s Hour. My memory is that, in those days, we were never asked to do any of these different kinds of writing in primary school. Certainly, once I reached secondary, we were not required in English lessons to be imaginatively ‘creative’ or purposeful, but largely to write critical essays on the (classic) book we had spent a whole half-term reading aloud round the class. I hope it’s different now, but I do hear stories which make me think it may not necessarily be.

I have recently known several pupils who were clearly outstanding as writers.They were all highly motivated, persistent, committed and self-regulating, and all wrote extensively and with pleasure at home. So far, so good. But there is one interesting small piece of research which got me thinking about whether we are doing all we might in school for ’high ability’ young writers like these. It’s a definition of what ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ (two separate terms) could mean. According to Gagne (2000, 2003) giftedness is an individual’s potential or predisposition for outstanding achievement. His research also suggests that giftedness isn’t fixed but can be developed, which surely has ramifications for how we see and teach all apprentice writers. ‘Talents’ are defined simply as the manifestation of this potential. The conditions which are influential in the realisation of giftedness as talents are: intrapersonal – coming from inside, being intrinsically motivated, and environmental – particularly the support of parents and the home ethos, and that of teachers and the school. (Chance is also a possible factor). This research draws attention to the potential influence of the classroom on the writing lives of such children, and implies that some classroom strategies could actually have an adverse effect on their progress. So the question is, what kind of writing teaching would be the most valuable for gifted and talented writers?  Do we in fact need to do anything to support them or, with the demands of getting other less able children to ‘met standard’, is it justifiable to praise and showcase their writing but then leave them to their own devices, trusting that they will always write something good? Our view is that it’s not. They need good teaching and writing that challenges them as much as everyone else does.

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs you’ll know that we are passionately committed to promoting and teaching a rigorous, research-informed, inclusive Writing for Pleasure pedagogy. You can read about it here. The basic idea is to make the classroom a place where children want to write. Consistent research results from the National Literacy Trust indicate that for many, including high ability writers, it clearly isn’t. Taking as read that the Writing for Pleasure pedagogy supports all young writers, this post is specifically about some of the ways in which it enables gifted writers to realise their talents fully in the writing classroom.

Being part of a classroom community of writers

In a community of writers, writing by teachers and pupils alike is shared, talked about, responded to, reflected on and presented, in a safe and positive atmosphere where all are seen as writers, and believe themselves to be. A talented writer, like anyone else, needs to feel part of and act in important social structures such as these, where children learn things of value from each other and help each other to learn.The alternative is to have all children writing in isolation, and so mutual benefits and huge opportunities for learning and making relationships are lost.

Learning the writing processes

Being explicitly taught the writing processes means that, paradoxical as it might seem, confident talented writers become free to think about and use a personal version of the processes which suits them better. They may even try out several different versions when writing in different genres, and gain more knowledge of themselves as writers. Many professional writers have reflected interestingly on their processes, and these could be shared and discussed.

Creating purposeful and authentic class writing projects

Children will be much more engaged and motivated if the class writing project is felt by them to be relevant to their lives and funds of knowledge, to have personal meaning for them. Putting their own idea into the genre being studied in the class writing project immediately creates an authentic purpose and a personal connection to the writing. In one piece of research, gifted writers specifically reported enhanced volition, enjoyment and satisfaction when given the opportunity to write about things of significance to themselves. As one young writer put it so well, the best and most supportive teachers are those who help you write ‘with ease.’

Having time, space and freedom for personal writing projects in school: writing every day

Writing daily and having agency to write on topics of their own choice, in their own way, for their own purposes, and at their own pace is the key to motivation, efficacy and pleasure. For gifted pupils, the opportunity to write in this way at school may be something like the experience of writing at home, where often much of their most creative, varied and successful writing takes place (though of course there will be differences). Having time and space on a daily basis satisfies the cognitive need of gifted writers to simply write, and allows them to practise and improve their craft (and writing is a craft!). Time, space, freedom and the interest of the teacher all contribute to a writer’s sense of self as someone engaged in important work, but this won’t be maintained if children are constantly forced into writing according to someone else’s design. Putting it bluntly, a diet of teacher-led, teacher-chosen topics may affect motivation adversely, and will certainly result in the writer losing the feeling that writing is a real-world activity ,has a personal point and is purposeful.

Being taught by a writer- teacher

A writer-teacher (a writer who happens to teach and a teacher who happens to write) is well placed to do a number of things to nurture gifted writers. A teacher’s passion for engaging in personal writing works to maintain pleasure, motivation and tenacity in the students, and makes it possible to share difficulties, give advice, suggest strategies and provide immediate feedback. Writing study lessons, which should take place regularly, can be differentiated for gifted writers. Why not get them to consider conveying several points of view in a piece of fiction, or experimenting with narrative structures and different kinds of narrator? Or revising drastically, judging what to take out rather than put in? (Hemingway describes this as an intense source of pleasure). Conferencing with gifted writers can be conducted at a high level, and these writing study lessons (which maybe demand another blog post!) can be recalled during the conference as a way of helping them move their writing on.

Reading for pleasure as well as writing for pleasure

These two are strongly interconnected. Gifted writers are likely to be committed readers, but it is still important for them to be provided with a high-quality and eclectic classroom library based on a teacher’s knowledge of children’s literature and on peer recommendations, and which contains plenty of challenging texts. They too, need to feel part of a community of readers with ample time to talk with others about their reading. Research suggests that children who read more write more and better, using their reading, often unconsciously, as mentor texts.Teachers need to take forward children’s experience of fiction and take advantage of the many opportunities for linking the way a particular book is written and the reader’s own writing. Plant an idea. Say ‘Why not try that out for yourself?’

Will those gifted writers write with the same pleasure and satisfaction as they progress up the education system? I don’t know. Maybe they will, if there can be a balance between the demands of the curriculum and assessment practices and the freedom and space to write with ease and affectively about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. Agency and writing affectively was totally absent from the writing curriculum of my secondary school, and to a large extent from my primary school. But all that was a long time ago…… wasn’t it…?

Please support us by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button in the top-right corner (or if you’re on a tablet or smartphone at the bottom of the screen).

You can also follow us and contribute to the Writing For Pleasure teacher community @WritingRocks_17

References

  • Gagné, F. (2000). Understanding the complex choreography of talent development through DMGT-based analysis. In K. A. Heller, F. S. Monks & R. F. Subotnik (Eds.), The international handbook of giftedness and talent (2nd ed.) (pp. 67- 79). Oxford, England: Elsevier.
  • Gagné, F. (2003). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (3rd ed.) (pp. 60-74). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon
  • Garrett, L.& Moltzen, R.(2011) Writing because I want to, not because I have to: Young gifted writers’ perspectives on the factors that”matter” in developing expertise. English teaching:Practice and Critique, May, 2011, Volume 10, Number 1 pp.165-180