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Literacy: Ages 5 to 7

Working in a school where pupils mostly speak English as a second language, it is often hard to gain a variety of vocabulary for description.

During a two-week narrative writing block, children were provided with a wealth of hands-on experience to develop their vocabulary for later use in their own narrative piece. After reading We're Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, the children acted out the story, making sounds like splish and splosh.

Then they turned hands-on: mud, water, grass and sticks were all provided in supervised groups for sensual exploration.

Through this the children produced a wealth of words to use when writing about their hunts. Without this, they would not have been able to provide words such as slimey, sloppy, tickly and smoothing for their word banks Rachael Dodsworth is literacy co-ordinator at the Rosary RC Primary in Saltley, Birmingham.

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