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Do children ever actually include their character and setting descriptions?!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sfm_81, May 31, 2011.

  1. Hi all, am teaching Year 4 for the first time. We have done a lot of work on narrative this year but I keep finding the same pattern. We spend ages talking about an idea for a story and then have whole lessons on describing the characters that will be in it, and the setting in which it will take place... So far the best I'm likely to get it something like "His name is Gary, he is 12" and that's it! I feel like saying where's all the lessons worth of description we wrote about Gary!?!?!?

    Anyway, is it just me? Am I doing something wrong or do children just not care about describing things!? Any advice you have to get these more integrated would be most welcome, many thanks.
  2. Do you have a list of non negotiables that the children can tick off? Success criteria!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Yeps I'd give them a check list as well.
  4. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    This is coming at it from a KS1 perspective, so might not work, but could you get them to write diff parts of story in diff lessons. Eg do plan, then next lesson intro focussing on description, next lesson middle/problem, next lesson end/solution. Maybe when they saw what they had achieved doing it this way might have impact and get them into swing of writing in this style. Who knows?!
    Good luck.
  5. indigo987

    indigo987 New commenter

    My kids also find it tough to include all the lovely describing stuff we have done previously when they actually get down to writing their stories. We made "story sandwiches" - an idea from Bev Evans I think originally for the Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch - They start with a yellow sheet of paper with the outline of a slice of bread, that they have to describe their characters and setting on. Only once they have done this are they allowed their lettuce/ham/cheese pages - this differs for each story but I have had 1 for each problem and 1 for the the resolution in the past. Then they have to write me a (happy!) ending on the last slice of bread. We then treasury tagged them together. Worked really well for them being able to visualise the different parts of the story and not just rush into the first event. Even when we are not using the "sandwich" paper, it is easy to remind them about the sandwich structure! In fact, I sometimes now have the opposite problem, where some of my most able write me pages of description about the characters and settings, and don't get on to the story!
  6. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    I would set them a taarget such as four lines of description about Gary, five lines describing the setting etc. I would also have them write one paragraph per lesson after modelling the paragraph for them.
    They would need to have a comprehensive plan in place too.

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