Reading into Writing
At Springdale First School we understand that the key to unlocking a child’s education is reading. For children to develop a rich vocabulary and vivid imagination they need to have been exposed to a range of literature.
We see the magic that can fill a room when a good book is brought to life and shared with children. For this reason, we use a ‘Reading into Writing’ approach to teach our children how to be writers. We believe for children to become writers they need to learn to how to ‘read as writers.’ They need to learn exactly what a highly skilled author does to make their writing exciting and engaging. By carefully selecting high quality texts to share with the children, we can show them what an excellent example of a given genre looks like.
Our Reading into Writing journeys are structured as follows…
Before we start, it is essential we select a high-quality text that exemplifies the genre, we are going to teach, really well. We use text potential prompts to choose books, so we are able to share the very best examples with the children.
We then begin the ‘Text Immersion’ stage of the journey. This is where we share the text and ‘read as writers.’ The children’s focus is drawn less to what the writer is trying to say and more on how the writer is saying it. We discuss the language the author has used to create given effects and teach the children to keep a note of words we would like to ‘magpie’ (borrow) for our own writing. We look at the skills the writer has used to make the reader want to read on. The children will engage in discussions, role play, debates and hot seating, during this time, in order to unpick the text.
The next part of the journey is the ‘Skill Building’ stage. This is when the children learn and practise the skills, they will need for this piece, from our ‘Progression of Writing Knowledge.’ They will practise the techniques in various ways, so they begin to master those skills.
They then move on to ‘Skill Rehearsal.’ This is when they apply the skills that they have been taught to practising longer pieces of writing. By following an ‘I do, we do, you do’ model, the children can learn how to incorporate their new vocabulary and skills into whole sentences and paragraphs. Through shared writing the teacher can think out loud and explain the reasoning behind word choices, sentence structure, grammatical decisions, as well as spellings. The children’s attention will be drawn to their intended audience and the purpose of the writing throughout, to ensure they do not lose focus. During this time, the children will learn to innovate texts and come up with their own unique ideas. They will be able to deepen their understanding of the genre and how to make the most effective choices. They will also learn the power of a marvellous mistake and how to edit their work successfully.
Final Outcome also known as our ‘Golden Writes.’ The last part of the journey is when the children write independently. They may produce an extended piece or a shorter extract e.g. a character description. Our older children are able to have some autonomy over their final pieces, so they are able to demonstrate their skill set.
Please see below for some examples of our Reading into Writing units…