5th January 2007 at 00:00
Ages 11 to 16

Reluctant writers can soon become focused on writing - and writing well - if this activity is followed.

Divide the class into two teams. Each team writes one sentence of a story, a letter or an essay on the board. The teacher awards points as the teams take it in turns to write, correct or improve each sentence.

Soon reluctant writers become thoroughly involved in the discussion and in the act of writing, without feeling forced to face a blank page that they have to fill on their own.

Writing in teams provides an opportunity for pupils to learn from each other without losing face as they see their mistakes. It enables them to have their writing corrected immediately and to hear the reasons why changes need to be made if the sentence is to be improved

Rosemary Westwell teaches in Cambridgeshire

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