A lifetime of writing

25th May 2001 at 01:00
WRITING FRAMES MADE EASY CREATIVE SUPPORT FOR PRIMARY WRITING. By Steve Mynard and Sandy Stockwell. pfp pound;49.50. To save pound;5 Tel: 0870 241 0731fax 0870 241 2765 quoting "TES Curriculum offer".

TEACHING CHILDREN TO WRITE. The Process Approach to Writing for Literacy. By Pam Hodson and Deborah Jones. David Fulton pound;15. Available from TES Direct for pound;14.50

Christopher Walker became so firmly associated with cloze procedure and its spinoff, spirit-masters, that no other individual managed to muscle in on the act. At one time you would have predicted a similar fate for David Wray, who was among the first to promote the use of writing frames, and with whom they have become just as firmly associated. But the writing frame industry is proving to be a more open market. The hefty ring-binder Writing Frames Made Easy contains enough frames to keep any teacher happy for a lifetime, whether it be the teacher's own, or the lifetime of the frame (for all such teaching aids must in due course become moribund).

Steve Mynard and Sandy Stockwell have compiled a file of tightly printed lesson notes for both key stage literacy hours, to accompany each set of frames, and what I like about their expensive but value-for-money enterprise is the emphasi on both cross-curricular and home "teaching points". Each section contains ideas on ways to develop the writing for homework or ICT. There are cross-references to the National Literacy Strategy and QCA schemes of work in other subjects.

There are 30 frames for key stage 1 and 54 at KS2. The set for "Writing simple instructions" at Year 2 is exemplary, providing the opportunity for imaginative treasure mapping, practice in the economical recording of commands for a floor turtle, and the careful sequencing of directions from home to school.

The frames in Teaching Children to Write are more schematic and less child-friendly. To be fair, it has a different purpose - to persuade teachers that writing needs to be taught as a series of discrete but interdependent stages: brainstorming, organising, drafting, responding etc. The book is well-supported, up to a point, by current research, but in its aim to be a helpful bank of frames as well as a provocative text, it ends up falling between its two objectives. And it is blind to this deadly reality - the "process" it believes needs promoting is already alive and well and doing its stultifying work.

Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now