Our writing has been recounts. Most students said they enjoyed writing recounts because they can write about what they did on the weekend. Our goal though, was to think about how we could make our recounts better.
As a starting point, I needed to see what students could do, so we started off with a success criteria of trying to use the 5W's in our writing: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
To extend some students, I encouraged them to try to add detail and time words to sequence their ideas into paragraphs. Before students planned their writing, I shared a recount I had written about my weekend, and the class had to identify whether I had included parts of our success criteria.
From here, students could choose to do a picture plan to organise their ideas for writing or just write. Afterwards, they had to self assess their work to determine how successful they were and identify their next steps. A common next step identified was ‘planning’ for writing. Students needed help to organise their ideas and write in more detail. To support this I tried 4 things.
Write about a shared experience together so we could brainstorm ideas.
Use a graphic organiser picture plan to sequence events
Write keywords about each picture to support students with spelling and to help them piece together their ideas.
Use a time word above each picture to help students sequence their ideas.
We used the graphic organiser to write about our trip on the Floating Classroom. By using the graphic organiser, nearly everyone was able to increase their writing. It was a dramatic change from when the students just started writing. Check out the difference.
Just writing from Skye
Page 1 of Skye’s writing using her graphic organiser plan
The graphic organiser helps because it has pictures to write about and words like ‘headed off’ and ‘boat’ I can use - Skye
Just writing from Robert
Part of Robert’s writing using his graphic organiser plan
It helped with the words I wrote and stuff. I copied a few of them from my plan - Robert
Just writing from Tiarni
Part of Tiarni’s writing using her graphic organiser plan
The pictures helped me remember what to write about - Tiarni
Room 2 we will continue to reflect on our next steps and how we can be better writers. We look forward to sharing more of our writing with you all in the future.
Keywords: Planning, writing recounts, planning to be better writers