Developing Early Writing

Topics: Teaching

The following sample essay on “Developing Early Writing”: examples of speaking and listening strategies in the early years.

From personal experience in an early years setting it can be suggested that allowing individual children to bring in toys or other items from home on selected days, and holding an American style ‘show and tell’ where the child will talk about his item, not only produces good results for the class but will have children talking to each other if they possess the same or similar thing at home.

Role-playing at acting out stories or poems in the home corner is also another great activity for drawing out speaking and listening skills in the early years.

Although the above ideas are examples of speaking and listening strategies in the early years the importance of this skill carries on right throughout every key stage. The National Curriculum at key stages 1 and 2 stresses that children should learn to speak with confidence and listen to others, speak in a range of contexts and make relevant points during class discussions (QCA, 1999:p44-50).

One enjoyable activity to promote speaking and listening in the latter key stages is to hold a group discussion after a debateable article has been read to the class.

The practitioner can split the class into two halves and assign the two groups the arguments for and against. If before the discussion the practitioner asks each group to re-read the article and write down any relevant points for discussion then, in one literacy hour, not only has the teacher delivered a speaking and listening activity he has also covered a shared and guided read and a guided writing session.

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The final area of the Literacy hour that shall be explained is the need to develop good writing skills.

According to the DfEE booklet developing early writing (2001) evidence from teachers using the National Literacy strategy suggests that the teaching of reading has been more systematic than writing and many children still find the process of writing difficult and make slow progress. White (1980) backs this up in his book Teaching written English by claiming that speech is regarded as primary importance but writing is placed a poor second.

However, the teaching of writing should be an important factor for all primary schools. If pupils are to become independent writers they need to be familiar with a range of writing so that they may adapt their writing to suit their intended audience and intention of a task. Therefore, during the literacy hour teachers should designate time to the teaching of writing non-fiction, poetry and plays. (QCA, 2000) During this time writing, like reading, will often be broken down into shared and guided sessions.

During shared writing sessions teachers should act as editor and scribe in activities which will allow pupil participation. For example, after an idea for writing has been introduced the practitioner should encourage children to think about wording and re-wording sentences, and debate about each other’s suggestions. During this time the teacher should also maintain a vigorous pace and focus on his set objectives.

During guided writing pupils should be set a specific writing objective (writing a letter or a short story for example) they should then be told to return to their groups and have a go of completing their work on their own. Pupils should also be allowed to view some past examples of good quality writing before they start so they have a general idea of what is expected of them. When the activity is being undertaken it is important for practitioners to remember that although this is independent work some students will still need support from their teacher.

The guided writing sessions will allow for the practitioner to spend time with one or two of his/her ability groups so as to re-enforce the learning objectives and aid in the correct writing composition. To conclude, it is thought that this essay has highlighted the importance of having a literacy hour and a national strategy from which to work from. Although the NLS is not compulsory it can be seen that by using the framework along with the national curriculum document teachers can plan and teach effective lessons using a range of fun and interactive methods.

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Developing Early Writing. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Developing Early Writing
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