English - For writing out loud

2nd December 2011 at 00:00

What the lesson is about

The blinds are closed and the lights are out. The glow from a single candle casts menacing shadows over the Jabberwock collage, causing its eyes of flame to burn with intent. Melissa widens her own eyes, lowers her voice and begins to read in her best writer's voice, writes Steve Eddison.

"In a scary, scary cave was a scary, scary tunnel. And down that scary, scary tunnel ."

When I was a small, grubby schoolboy, I dreamed Miss Rosewater would delve into the pile of stories we would write in our composition books every Friday morning and select mine to read out to the class.

Don't get me wrong. I loved it when she read stories about the Famous Five or the Borrowers. She varied the pace, she changed her voice to signify different characters and situations, she paused at the right moment to let our minds imagine what might happen next, she whispered when it was called for, and when tension was at breaking point she suddenly . let out a ROAR!

A tale unheard is a tale stillborn. If we want children to enjoy writing, their writing needs to be enjoyed by others - it requires an audience.

But an audience needs to be entertained, which is why I urge my children to put as much effort into telling as into writing stories. Read them aloud, in your best storyteller voice. Practise, polish, rehearse, and finally perform them in front of your peers.

". And in that deep, deep hole was a. SPIDER!" shrieks Melissa, to squeals of laughter and tumultuous applause.

Where to find it

Encourage pupils to improve their story-writing with step-by-step resources and worksheets from asadler79.

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