To help your reluctant boys become more enthusiastic about writing, suggest planning narrative writing as though it were a board or computer game.
Pupils design their own Top Trumps cards for the different characters and a game board that maps out the structure of the hero's quest. They can use their journey designs to practise oral storytelling in pairs or small groups.
To make their descriptions more vivid, words can be written across their game maps, outlining sights, sounds and smells in different parts of the land.
Then pupils are led into writing - using each area of the board as the basis for a paragraph of the narrative.
This approach gets pupils writing imaginatively and ensures that they use clear paragraphs. They can even make the actual game as a design and technology project.
A useful website for game design is: www.geocities.comterriebittnergames.html
Benjamin Westley teaches Years 3 and 4 at Meldreth Primary School in Cambridgeshire.