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Making Literacy exciting!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Has anyone got any good activities they use within their literacy lessons - particularly narrative - to make it more exciting?
    I seem to do the same old routine of tell a story, retell it lots using actions, story map it, act it out through roleplay, discuss language features and some word level/punctuation work, plan our own story and write our own story. I know all this is fine and good but I sometimes feel my planning is a little..stale.
    Does anyone have any nice ideas for activities/games that can link to most stories?
  2. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    one class i covered had a nice starter, they suggested words then had to make up as complex a sentence as possible using say 5 of the words suggested, worked well as they battled to make the most complex sentence and often quite funny)
    there is the old "what happened next approach...
    not my speciality, but i shall read the answers with great interest!
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    One idea is 'mixed up sentences'. (Pinched from my MFL teaching)Print out individual words and then cut out. Children have to re-assemble them into an order which makes sense.Can then do 2 sentences etc. Can also add punctuation. This can be done physically with children having to sort theselves into an appropriate order-lots of talk needed here to decide who goes where, in pairs or groups on tables.
    I also wouldn't necessarily write a 'whole story' every time. Sometimes I'd give them a starter and ask them to continue. Othertimes we'd map out a story together and then they write their own endings. Or give them the 'bare bones' of a story and they have to 'flesh it out'. Sometimes I'll use another child's story (from another year group or previous child) and we have to see how we could improve the story using all our fabulous VCOP knowledge.
    Also wouldn't aways expect a written outcome- could be a freeze-frame photo-story, video of a play or puppet show.
    Really the possibilities are endless! Will be interesting to see other's suggestions
  4. Thanks Lara, some great ideas for outcomes that aren't whole stories :)
    I think we get bogged down with having to do an "end of unit Big Write" - I love the idea of giving them bare bones and having to flesh it out.
  5. Start with pictures from the story only. What do you think is going on? Order them and use a storyboard to make up your own version of the story. Usually engages the children at the start as they are keen to see if their version is correct. This also works well with narrative poetry units like The Highwayman if the children haven't come across the story before.
    Read the blurb - then get them to write the final page first - what do they think will happen at the end of the story. Or read the ending of the story and get them to write the beginning.
    Character profiles - if there are three or four characters in the story they can all go out to dinner. Write the conversation they would have at the dinner table. Take the characters to a completely different place - the zoo, a theme park, the tip, the cinema - give each group a different place and get them to decide how the characters would act/behave/speak. They can feedback/perform to the rest of the group. What objects would the characters in the story own? What does their house look like? They could draw/describe it. What is their favourite object? Why? What does it mean to them? Write a part of the characters story before/after this narrative.
    Rewrite part of the story in the 1st/3rd person - the opposite of the narrative. Especially good if it is written in 3rd person to get them to write it as if they are a character in the story. I used this to get the idea of Viewpoint across to my Year 6 class.
    Write a script then recreate this with cartoons, animation, plasticine and record it. Or write/record as a radio play. The children then have to concentrate on sounds and telling the story through the dialogue rather than relying on description.
    Hot-seating - asking questions of characters in the story (the teacher or children can be in the hot seat).
    Concience alley - particularly good if the story has a moral.
    Quick on the draw - 10 questions about the text in groups (see http://www.english-teaching.co.uk/learninglearning/quickonthedrawpg.pdf for how to do it). I use this for Maths and topic too and the children love it!
  6. I would head straight for the Pie Corbett Literacy book, gives you some great activities that you can adapt into your lessons
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  8. Wow, some fab ideas thankyou!
    I forgot to mention that its Y2 im teaching but alot of the above ideas can be used/adapted. I like the idea of starting with just the pictures too.
    Sometimes you just need some fresh ideas to inspire :)
  9. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Get Pie Corbetts book - "Jump Start Literacy" - lots of ideas for word / sentence level work, as well as firing up for longer writes. I love it.
  10. We went to a recent INSET led by Pie Corbett so I did get lots of ideas from him, but the Jumpstart book says its aimed at KS2/3 and I work in KS1.
    I think half my problem is that with the framework I feel there is little time to devote to word/sentence level work if you are to hit all the text level objectives, but as its been archived i've taken that as meaning I can pretty much ignore it and do what I want!
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I use some of the Jumpstart ideas with Y2 (I've use them with reception too) but the Everybody writes site includes lots of ideas from the book (free)
    Schools could always ignore the framework as it has never been statutory
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Wow, fantastic ideas there Bobby Carrot!
    Particularly like the dinner party idea & I've used the change Point of view successfully before.
    Don't worry about the Framework impulce. After all it is really only that -a framework to build your own ideas on & was never statutory and is now 'defunct'!
  13. I know that but when as a school you are using the framework, it's hard for one teacher to decide not to. It was more the 'phases' I found restrictive I think, so it is nice to break away from that.
    I will have a look around that website :)

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