'Planning to Teach Writing' contains planning for nearly 50 hooks into writing - that's over 140 unit plans! There are three planned units per hook - either a picture book, short story or novel, or short film. Each unit is planned using the 'circles' approach. There are 3 circles that represent each phase of learning: phase 1 is reading, immersion and analysing the text-type, phase 2 is planning writing and phase 3 is shared and guided writing.
A short extract from Chapter 1: The Circles Planning Approach
Not only does this approach allow teachers to see the big picture of a unit before they start teaching, it also enables them to plan a rich and impactful learning journey. Additionally, as the broad view of teaching is clear in the teacher’s head s/he is better equipped to allow the unit to twist and turn according to the needs and interests of learners. The research findings in 2004 were:
“…a three-week block was a new way of working, which was challenging but was seen to reap considerable benefit. For example:
…the slow build up to the writing objective really helped my young writers, particularly the boys who enjoyed the variety across time around one text.
…identifying specific long term intentions for each unit…enabled them to work more flexibly and creatively as they travelled towards these intentions and prompted them to listen to the children more acutely in the process. In focusing on the writing end product, they explicitly ‘built in more time to develop thinking and imagination’ and ‘planned for more time for the children to enact and perform’.
…a general sense of satisfaction in being able to cover short-term objectives within a longer time frame. Some felt that in the past, in trying to cover a range of short-term objectives, their work had been fragmented; they enjoyed what they perceived as increased flexibility to respond to the needs and interests of the children, whilst still being guided by the overall intention of the unit.” UKLA/PNS
A short extract from the introduction to Chapter 2: The Unit Plans
This chapter is divided into three sub-sections. Each is based on a different hook (see Chapter 1 about ‘hooks’) into writing: Picture books; Short stories & Novels; Short Films.
Within each sub-section, divided into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, there are:
a. mind-maps showing the different text-types that could be stimulated by each hook
b. circles plans that demonstrate how to reach the written outcomes and also that demonstrate that the ‘hooks’ can be used at different points during the teaching sequence
As both the mind-maps and unit plans are, in effect, diagrams I have been unable to include any here. However, if you would like to preview pages from my book please use the 'contact us' form and I would be glad to email you a mind-map and a sample plan. Make sure you mention your Key Stage if there is an area you are specifically interested in.
If you would like more information I will be running a half-day course on 17th January 2018 on 'Planning to Teach Writing', the cost of this course includes a copy of my book. You can book via the courses tab.
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