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.

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


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