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Using reading to build pupils' linguistic and literary techniques

You can adapt and use the teaching approaches below to build pupils' confidence in using a range of linguistic and literary techniques. The context for the work is reading, with a focus on exploring how writers select key language devices.

Altering the tone and impact of writing

  • Explain how sentence structure can change tone, mood and emphasis (for example, explore the different impact of Never had I seen men with such little dignity with that of I had never seen men with such little dignity).
  • Explore how choices involving the use of the active or passive voice can alter the tone and impact of a piece of writing. Look at a variety of texts, such as newspapers, noting how sentences such as the following might influence the reader: The Prime Minister offered an apology (active voice); An apology was issued (passive voice).

Persuasive texts

  • Analyse an effective persuasive text through shared reading, using text-marking to help pupils note which literary and linguistic features have been used to persuade the reader.
  • Present a short piece of text where the purpose to persuade fails, and in shared reading establish why it is unsuccessful. In a subsequent shared writing session, model adding relevant rhetorical devices to make the writing persuasive. In guided or independent work, present another text for pupils to do the same.

Different text types

Explore the use of literary and linguistic techniques in non-fiction texts such as the autobiography, website and newspaper article. Consider how the writing differs across different text types and how these differences impact on the reader.