Notes from a unit of work on writing recounts: summer term
The central event was a visit to a local garden centre. The class recorded their preparation, visit and responses in several ways, including notes in the form of a time line. At the end of the unit they wrote a detailed recount.
Time line of the garden centre visit
Julia sequenced a series of photographs taken on the visit and wrote captions to explain them.
- Simple sentences used for captions and to recount events, with given time connectives used to vary the sentence openings (AF5 L2 b1 and b2, but with support).
- Sentences are accurately formed and almost always punctuated correctly (AF6 L2 b1 and b2).
- Tense change as labelling moves into recount is appropriate but not signalled (AF5 L2 b3).
- The note-like form is reinforced by the use of '+' for 'and' (AF2 L1).
- Appropriate use of a range of time connectives, 'next', 'then', 'last of all', suggests AF3 L2 b1, but not independently.
Observational notes: May
- Discussed sequence of photographs with partner.
- Independent spellings.
- Limited use of word book to acquire unknown spellings.
- Time connectives given – 'next', 'then', 'last of all'.
- Independent writing.
Independent writing of recount: summer term
The recount draws on the notes made on the time line.
- Julia constructs compound sentences with 'because' and 'but' and uses a 'when' clause as a sentence opening (AF5 L2 b2). Some capital letters and full stops punctuate major sentence boundaries but other full stops written very lightly as if Julia wants to mark a pause rather than a complete stop (AF6 L2 b2). She hasn't yet learnt to use commas.
- Whole text coherently sequenced using time connectives 'next', 'then', 'when', 'after that', 'later' (AF3 L2 b1). Balance between nouns and pronouns structures the writing and sustains cohesion (AF4 L2).
- Overall ideas are relevant and the details selected retell the main elements of the trip (AF1 L2 b1). Some modification of nouns sharpens description and verb choices often varied and interesting (AF1 L2 b2, AF7 L2 b2). Detail about teacher's share of bun gives evidence of personal viewpoint/humour (AF1 L2 b3).
- A number of examples of letter combinations not acceptable in English spelling – 'scwash', 'drangk', 'finishts' (AF8 L1), but spelling is becoming more recognisable and accurate, for example errors such as 'pade', 'bort' suggest deliberate, if not always accurate choices to represent vowel digraphs. In handwriting, fewer instances of b/d confusion.