Drawing on a picturebook originally created by a group of year 4 students, we began a week long big write drafting our text in sections, working firstly on the beginning and then the end, before returning to write the bit they all really wanted to get stuck into, the appearance of the demon fiddler. My intention was to draw on an extended process of talking for writing, role play and experience and exploration of a range of multimodal text types, to help develop their sense of authorship. Working from a strong opening and close, I wanted to contextualise and strengthen their central section of the narrative, an area where previously they have fallen fowl to dialogue based narrative. In order to challenge and encourage use of adventurous vocabulary students were also given an older audience to write for.
Engaging with the text in this way meant as a group the students needed to apply their thinking to how their narrative would develop and flow, as they worked to link the opening and closing sections of their story. Seeing themselves through the eyes of their reader (listener), creating a context for their role of author as designer.
The story itself was a fantastic choice as it turns out, really excited them, firing their imagination and inspiring some fabulous language use. Having rehearsed their narratives for writing, within the drafting process using what we have come to call "podcast voices" on completion, they have asked to publish their stories as a part of their class podcast.
This week working in pairs, the students have been helping each other rehearse their performances. Working through this process has supported further refining and revision of their texts as oral rehearsal and playback highlighted elements that needed to be changed to enable sense making. The students have also taken on roles within the recording process, one acting as director and engineer recording the story while the other performs it, before swapping over on completion of the process.
Colleagues who have observed the students using Podium our chosen recording tool, during this process, have commented on how exciting it has been to see the children engaged in
- discussing, reviewing and polishing their oral presentation,
- situational learning, refining something of which they were already rightly proud,
- using and applying a growing understanding of purpose and audience to ground their engagement in meaning making