Towards structure in writing (a two-page approach)
The principles of a two-page approach to writing can be relatively simply put.
• The first page of an exercise book is left blank potentially to act as an ongoing contents list.
• If blank paper exercise books are used, differentially supportive writing frames can be created to be used underneath as writing guidelines.
• If writing targets are on a fold out sheet pasted to the front or back of the exercise book, so that they can be opened out while writing occurs, the whole constitutes a working document. Targets can be extracted for each task and an ongoing development commentary recorded.
• Subsequent two page spreads are the basis for the development of further writing with clear, ongoing developmental targets. Each is a project in its own right.
The left hand page is designated as a planning and ideas gathering page, with children encouraged to draft all their thoughts connected with the writing purpose.
Ideas can be explored through a variety of considered approaches
• Ideas webs
• Mind mapping
• Useful phrases
• Story frames
• Structured pictures or storyboarding
• Story lines or timelines
• Difficult or interesting words
Many of these will be used intermittently to suit specific purposes.
Some lend themselves to further exploration with regard to story structure, especially with ideas such as sentences and paragraphs.
Scaffolds for writing allow development of these concepts on the left hand page.
Examples might incude:-
Story title or writing theme e.g. science task, based on order and organisation of ideas.
The left hand page can also be useful for teacher intervention:-
Adding conversation notes or feedback
Supporting spelling development
Drafting and editing are essential elements of this process, with children taking more responsibility for this aspect of their writing production.
All the above are capable of being developed within Powerpoint activities, with ICT skills embedded also.
The right hand page becomes the first draft page, with the potential for development and second drafting on a separate blank sheet of paper, which is then placed over the left hand page, to ensure that the child has a clear view of what is being copied and developed.
This draft can then be glued along the left hand edge and stuck over the first draft, developing a clear developmental story of progress.