Tasty tales

14th September 2007 at 01:00
Many children find planning writing difficult. It can be tedious. When writing stories, planning too much may take the adventure out of the writing. As Nico, seven, said to me: "What I like about writing is that you never quite know what is going to happen."

In one school I visited, the children were using "burger plans", a simple and appealing idea they enjoyed. The top and bottom halves of the bun provided a space for the children to write in ideas for their opening and ending. These are left quite large so that the children could note specific phrases. The layers in the middle of the burger represented different paragraphs. Year 3 children might only have one or two layers, while more proficient writers would have more. For non-fiction, each layer has a sub heading and key points.

The teacher has to show the children how to plan using the burger and then how to turn the "burger plan" into writing. A simple idea, visual and fun, effective at improving organisation in writing and the children enjoyed using it. As one boy said to me: "It makes for tasty writing."

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

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