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Pie Corbett vs Big Talk/Big Writing

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by pinkpebble, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Hi I wondered if anyone can tell me if they use either or these or both? We are trying to develop our writing skills further across the whole school. What would you recommend for Rec? We had an introduction to Big Write, but has not been properly emebeddded so with a new headteacher looking at other strategies. Also would be good to know if your school continues this through to Year 6?
  2. Hi pebble
    I don't know much about big writing (teach Nursery, and it's not something our school has been into as a whole anyway), but we had an INSET day with Pie Corbett last week and he talks an awful lot of sense. The whole day focused on shared writing and storymaking. The simple acts of making a "story map" and putting actions to the stories (old hat I know but he does it very systematically) have, this week, made amazing changes to my Nursery class. Even the youngest who don't seem to take much in have been able to retell a good chunk of our story (***-a-moo-moo) with a sense of beginning, middle and end. The Head did an observation on me and was flabbergasted at the change in the children. The older ones did some amazing writing to go with the display we made.
    It seemed that it would be appropriate all the way through the school, we're trying to implement some elements of the approach from Nursery to Y4 (we're a First school so no Y5/6)..
    One of the best things I took from it was about time. Why do we expect children to learn a story thoroughly, do lots of activities relating to it, write etc etc in the space of just one week? Then we move onto the next story and expect them to do it all again. Corbett advocated spending a week learning a story, (perhaps 2 weeks in Reception) a week with time to write it in chunks, and a further week to "innovate" it - to make their own version of it.
    And another thing he was very keen on (sorry i'm getting a bit evangelical, the course was only last week and it's all fresh in my mind) was children having a large bank of stories in their heads that they can draw on for both vocabulary and concepts when they come to write. If they're not familiar with a range of stories of different forms (he called them things like Journey stories (eg Red Riding hood)...can't remember the other forms) then how can they write a good story themselves.
    I'd be interested to know how anyone else was implementing all of this in their schools.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We use both (lots of overlaps in ideas) Big Talk is aimed firmly at the earlier age range and would be my choice for the foundations of teaching in nursery and reception but I would use Pie Corbett's activities as part of the routine. I've had training with both Pie Corbett and Alistair from Andrell and would highly recommend both if you ever get the opportunity.
  4. I've seen Pie Corbett several times and he is very sensible.
    We ask children to write their own stories before they can actually write at sentence level well enough, often before they are barely articulate and before they are able to relate a known story - and certainly before they know how to be inventive in a structured, coherent way.
    I'm all in favour of story re-writes once children have basic writing skills.
  5. curtiswilson

    curtiswilson New commenter

    We have always said that there isn't a choice to make between Big Writing and Pie Corbett or anyone else for that matter. As Ros says, "If a child can't say it, they can't write it!". We focus on the importance of talk first of all. When you say it hasn't been properly embedded, can you elaborate?
    Traditionally, Big Writing has been focussed on Primary, but as Msz mentioned, Alistair is working very hard to produce new resources for EYFS that lead into Big Writing and his conferences have been extremely well received.
    Hope this helps.
  6. Thank you everyone that has been really helpful. I completely agree with if they can't say it they can not write it! Big Write was introduced to the school in one staff meeting and the Literacy Co-ordinator moved schools so we are just looking in to our skills used for writing. Our writing is very good and speaking and listening is a big part of our learning. We are just looking in to these strategies now we have a new Literacy Co-ordinator.

    With Pie Corbett which book would you recommend? Is there particular actions that are used or can you make up your own actions to a story?

  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The Bumper Book of Story telling into Writing (KS1 book covers reception )
    Once upon a time
    - open hands like a book

    Early one morning
    - hands to side of head and pretend to wake up

    First - one
    finger pointed up

    Next - two
    fingers pointed to one side

    But - fingers

    Because - hands
    out open palmed

    At that
    moment/Suddenly - Hands opened expressively as if in surprise

    Unfortunately -
    hands open to side with shrug

    Luckily - fists
    closed then opened like stars

    After that - roll
    hands over in turning gesture

    So - roll hands
    forwards slightly and open as if giving

    Finally - palm
    facing audience like a policeman stopping traffic

    In the end -
    bring hands together as if closing book

    Eventually -
    hands on hips

    Then - hand
    flat and forward (palm down)

    However - finger
    on cheek/thumb on chin

    Meanwhile -
    double point to 'somewhere else'

    <h3>I would also highly recommend Talk the Big Talk it's extremely readable with ideas that can instantly be included in your class
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Curtis our staff are still raving about Alistair's visit in September, everyone agrees it was the best cluster INSET day we have had and I would urge anyone to go on one of his courses if the opportunity arises. (everone needs a knicker moment especially in EYFS)....
  9. Thanks Msz
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You are very welcome ....seriously if you can go on one of Alistair's courses you will thoroughly enjoy every action packed minute.
  11. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    who is Alistair?
  12. curtiswilson

    curtiswilson New commenter

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