Wednesday 31 August 2016

The Plan for Writing

This is the first year for about five years where I'm not having to teach daily phonics-phew! Whilst we have been knee deep in phonics, creative writing has been on the back burner: not completely ignored but not at the forefront. This year, I hope to remedy this.

Now,  I am well aware that some classical home educators do not teach writing during the early (grammar) phase of education. For various reasons, this isn't a route which we wish to take:
  • the children want to produce creative writing. They spontaneously write their own stories and poems.
  • writing is part of every day life. Fair enough, most of us don't write books but writing texts, emails and letters is something that we all need to do. 
  • copywork is something that is difficult for some children. A child can be full of ideas but struggle with the mechanics. It is possible to write a story whilst providing help with the mechanical process but for such a child, just producing copywork is demotivating. 
Having said this, I don't find teaching creative writing

intuitive. The books which I have used are
  • Partnership Writing by Julie Bogart. This has an emphasis on helping the child through a developmental phase when writing is difficult by acting as scribe when necessary. The book has some project suggestions which tend to take place over the course of a month. We use some of the elements of the BraveWrite lifestyle including Free Writing.
  • How to teach story writing at Key Stage 1 by Pie Corbett. This places emphasis on hearing stories and retelling them orally before starting to write. Does this sound like narration?
  • WriteShop Primary has a structured approach to writing and improving the piece.
  • How to Write books by QED publishing. There are four books in the series; one each about letters and emails, reports, stories and poems. These books can be used by the child.
In an attempt to keep writing and to cover different genres, I have produced a plan. Please note that this is a plan not a hard and fast rule. In the past, we have had difficulty with keeping to other people's time schedules on writing. Usually, the writing has taken longer and the editing less long than expected. I am sure that the proportions will change with time but for now, my aim is to encourage the children to enjoy writing and to keep writing. 

Extra note: if a child has weak spelling, put in the first corrections on the day that the writing takes place. There is nothing more dispiriting than no one being able to read the work the following day. We  separate the process of writing from learning about mechanics of spelling, grammar and punctuation. 

The Plan:


  • Writing from Branch Our World study of Tom's Midnight Garden 
  •  Letters and emails to real friends and relatives. 
  • Write to someone who is not known to us personally, for example, a missionary or the Queen. 
  • Write to an organisation.

  • Continue the unit study. 
  • Celebrate poetry day on 6th October by writing poetry.

  • Story writing-start by reading a story and retelling this before building in changes.
  • Write a sequel to a favourite book.

  • Poetry including rhyming couplets and limericks.
  •  Possibly write a carol.

  • Mystery story: work on planning the plot with mind maps and diagrams before writing.

  • Play: read a play to look at structure.
  • Chose a simple story for a play
  • Think of ways to perform the play
  • Write a one act play.
  • Possibly perform our play with puppets
March:Write about books to celebrate World Book Day.

  • book report
  • lap book
  • diorama
  • newspaper style book review
April:Adventure stories

  • Find a favourite story.
  • Retell the story and think of variations or a sequel.
  • plan structure of the story possibly using a story mountain.
  • Write an adventure story.
May:Non-fiction writing using different formats and topics

  • illustrated 
  • cartoon style
June:fable-using Partnership Writing
July: journal using different formats

  • diary style
  • picture journal
Do you have a view on learning about writing? Any tips?

If you enjoyed this post you may like to follow Delivering Grace by Google Friend Connect, G+,FacebookPinterest or e-mail.


  1. I don't really have any additional tips on writing, but our girls, particularly the older two *love* creative writing! They like to have their own notebooks for writing stories in, and one of them in particular likes to illustrate her stories. I like your monthly ideas, and thanks for mentioning National Poetry Day- that sounds interesting :-)

    1. Thank you. Special notebooks seem to help. Illustrations are funny-some of my children love to illustrate their work whereas for others drawing is the hardest part.