After the excitement of our full day of art on Monday, today was the 'writing for the display' day which I am sure for lots of the children (about 99%) if I'm honest it was not as exciting.
So there in lay my first problem. How do I make the prospect of writing descriptions for a display a bit more exciting? I think to make it exciting if you can is worth the effort because when children have had a good stimulus or a purpose to write I think their writing is often so much better.
The writing was to be character descriptions for those groups that had made the characters on Monday and directions on how to reach some of the buildings on the Island for those who had made the buildings. My intention is to have a piece of writing from each child alongside the art they created on our display.
Firstly we watched a Katie Morag episode on BBC iplayer which they absolutely loved so that was a good start. It also served a purpose because they had more examples of characters and buildings to use in their writing. What is really annoying about iPlayer though is that it only has the last three episodes so they often do not match the Katie Morag books we have read. Also the titles of the televised Katie Morag do not match the books which can be frustrating.
Next we looked at how to write a Katie Morag character description via Powerpoint. Not as exciting I grant you but it did stimulate a discussion about what 'evidence ' means and where to find it. It was also useful because it helped to generate a list of things a character description should contain.
Then I displayed a picture of the island on our class Visualiser and asked the children to imagine they had arrived at the Jetty by boat and needed to get to various places. Their job was to direct each other in 2s of 3s to one of buildings from the jetty using some of the positional language they had used in Maths on Monday. This was quite good fun and non threatening as it was all done verbally.
After that I wrote some instructions in the form of bullet points on the boards, I have two whiteboards in class which comes in really handy so one was used for character bullet points and the other for building bullet points along with word banks. This was followed by my 'modelling' how to write a character description and the directions for the buildings. The modelling served two purposes as it demonstrated clearly my expectations of their writing and as it was done with the use of the visualiser the children were able to see the full writing process very clearly.
Then the children were sat in the groups they had been in to produce their art to enable them to discuss what they might write before they actually started.
Finally the writing!
As I have yet to mark the writing the content and quality remain a nice 'surprise' for tomorrow.