Talk for Writing
Writing can be difficult for a number of reasons. For example:
• you are intimidated by successful peers.
Following the three stages of talk for writing will help you to structure your writing.
The three stages of talk for writing
- Talk to improve confidence
- Identify the qualities of good writing
- Write independently
1. Talk to improve confidence
There are lots of activities you can use to talk more. This will help you to remember the key terms for a topic, make you feel more confident about using the terms, help you to construct sentences that can be used in your writing and help you to spell the words correctly, because you will look at the words many times. For example….
You produce a list of key terms for a topic and simply time how long it takes you to read them all aloud. Your times should decrease as you practice more.
You could also turn this into a race with another person.
For example this is a reading race with key terms about The Titanic.
Key Word Chains
Think of the shortest word possible within a defined topic area (2 or 3 letters maximum) and then think of a second word which is one letter longer, then a third and so on. You cannot skip a number in the sequence.
You can either play this on your own or against another person.
This will encourage you to think of key words for a topic, which you could use in your writing.
Think of words that you may want to place into your writing. Write them in the top boxes of each column. Try to think of other words with a similar meaning (synonyms). You can write them down, or just say them. For example…..
See the link below for blank vocabulary grids.
Nuts and Bolts
N.B. It doesn’t matter that in passing the sheet people see the words. The main point of this activity is to increase your familiarity and confidence with the key words and phrases.
See the link below for an example of nuts and bolts based on The Titanic.
2. Identify the qualities of good writing
This involves reading other well written pieces of work to see the features of a good piece of writing. You can then analyse the text, to enable you to see how you could structure your writing in the same way. For example…..
Box it up
This involves looking for specific things in the text and summarising them in separate boxes.
For example, the link below is a good pieces of writing about the Hindenburg disaster. The box it up sheet allows you to see the good qualities in this piece of writing, that you could apply to your writing. You could easily change the headings of the boxes and apply the box it up sheet to the piece of writing you are looking at.
This involves reading a piece of writing and highlighting different good qualities in different colours. You can then use these ideas in your writing.
Explain why many people find war unacceptable.
For many people war is unacceptable because of the money that is spent on it. Massive amounts of money are spent on weapons and soldiers. For example, each cruise missile costs £700,000 and overall the world spends £2 million per minute on military items. Consequently, this means less money is available for developing health and education facilities and dealing with poverty – the cost of 23 Patriot missiles could keep 2 million people from Mozambique in seeds, clothes and pots for the year! Another money issue is the damage done to people and property because this all has to be paid for. Towns like Hiroshima had to be completely rebuilt and medical treatment for the wounded like Simon Weston costs thousands of pounds. Clearly then a powerful argument against war is the huge amount of resources that are spent on weapons and the damage done by war which could be better spent on improving life for everyone.
Read a good piece of text and annotate the features that make it so good.
3. Write Independently
Time to go solo! Use all of the skills you have gained in stages 1 and 2 to write independently.
This will take practice. You may find that you need to revisit stages 1 and 2 a few times to perfect your piece of writing.