In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we incorporate the Talk for Writing model into the teaching of writing. Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of both fiction and non-fiction texts including teacher produced models. Children are encouraged and supported to learn texts by heart, before trying to innovate them and gradually apply more independent changes to the model until they can write freely with confidence. In addition, across the school, picture books and topic work are used as a stimulus for writing.
What is Talk for Writing?
The term ‘Talk for Writing’ not only refers to the talk that surrounds the teaching of writing but also the wider learner within a unit of work. The process of TfW develops the children so that they become better speakers, listeners, readers, writers and thinkers. The process places the learner, through formative assessment, at the heart of the planning, teaching and learning process.
Through the process:
Imitation – The imitation stage is centred on getting the children to learn a story orally which allows the child to internalise a narrative pattern. This is then added to their linguistic repertoire. Teachers should create memorable, meaningful versions of the text, building in structure and age-appropriate language features.
Innovation – Building on from the imitation stage, the children use the text they have already learnt to create their own version of the text. The basic structure of the text stays the same but elements are changed e.g. Fox Babies instead of Owl Babies, The Giant Watermelon, Little Red Hen becomes the Big White Goose.
Independent application (formally invention) – Once the children have innovated the text, writing their own versions. Following on from assessment, activities are planned by the teacher to strengthen the areas that the children are having difficulties. Once the class has had time to ‘brainstorm’ a range of adventurous ways for innovating the story further and had opportunity to orally rehearse their ideas, children have the chance to plan and write their own stories (showing what they have learnt by writing engaging stories).