Inventive writing in conventional tasks
Find out how to add more depth to typical teaching approaches. Familiarise yourself with the usual teaching approaches, then use the questions and focus areas to adapt and modify them.
Limitations of the usual approaches
Point, evidence, explanation (PEE)
Much of the writing pupils will do is in response to types of text, for example literature essays about characters, themes and ideas or analytical essays comparing different pieces of research and evidence.
The PEE approach – making a point, providing evidence and then giving an explanation – can be a useful starting point when you first look at a piece of writing with pupils. The approach may, however, become repetitive and restrictive after some time.
Point, evidence, explanation and more suggests ways in which this approach can be developed and honed to make it more creative and flexible.
Understanding and developing story structure
To help pupils get a sense of the core structure of stories, you can break them down into sections:
Most novels they read will, however, not follow an exact pattern. There may be a number of complications, and multiple key or tense moments, which can make locating where the introduction and resolution end difficult to pinpoint.
These questions can help pupils to understand the more complex aspects of story structure.
- Is it really an introductory chapter if we have not met all the main characters?
- Does the main climax of the story always come near the end?
- What is lost if it comes earlier?
Focusing on specific features
These activities can help pupils take more inventive approaches to the conventional tasks.
Explore very closely the importance of tense in looking back (anaphoric reference) and forward or existing in the moment.
Help pupils think about where a reader is positioned at any given point in a story (close to the action, at a distance). Ask them to imagine the writer is a film director choosing where they position the camera to view the action.
3. Key moments
Taking a story and dividing it up into a number of key moments in the protagonist’s journey, rather like points on a graph, can be a useful exercise.