As part of staff training this year, all of the staff have been involved in some ‘Talk for Writing’ training. We have been working with Pie Corbett and have been lucky enough to fly a training provider out for some INSET day training with our staff.
‘Talk for Writing’ is all about providing ‘memorable, meaningful repetition as a basis for language learning… It provides opportunities for attentive listening as language grows through modelling recasting and extending.’ (Pie Corbett 2016). In the training, staff learned how to teach language lessons and learning through imitation, innovation and invention. I have shared some of the work F3 were doing last term on ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and ‘The Enormous Turnip’ books and this term I want to share what F1 have been doing.
F1 are focusing on the imitation stage using ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ The teachers shared the story with the children and then created a simple story map to help the children visualize the characters and the different steps in the story. Next, the teachers worked on making the children the storytellers by rehearsing and practicing the story each day. Memorising the story takes time but giving the children visuals and actions to go alongside the story really helps them to do this.
The other activities within F1 have also linked to the story to help really engage the children in their learning. I have seen muddy pig play, repeating wolf and pig patterns, play dough making of the characters for the houses, as well as lots of hands on role-play with life-size characters from the story and wooden houses.
Over the next few weeks, the teachers will continue to support the children with memorizing the story. They will then go on to the innovation stage where they will look at changing small aspects of the story such as the setting or a character and they will have some class-shared story writing together. Finally, they will enter the invention stage where they will be able to make up their own stories with different characters and settings using the same structure of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ story.
In the Early Years, our emphasis is really on helping the children to build up a living library of stories that they can remember without needing to refer to the book. We want them all to become fantastic storytellers!
All the children in Early Years are working on a ‘Talk for Writing’ book this term. Why not ask them if they can tell you about their story.
F1- The Three Little Pigs
F2- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
F3- The Little Red Hen
If you want to find out more about ‘Talk for Writing’ please go to Pie Corbett’s website;
There are also several video clips online that you could watch;
Miss Julie Walton
Head of Early Years