Tag-Archive for ◊ alan peat ◊

Sentence of the Week
Monday, December 02nd, 2013 | Author:

Recently we have introduced a few new strategies to improve the vocabulary and the writing for the children we work with. Firstly, we started with “Word of the Week”. This is a different word that we would teach the children each week. Following an inset day, we discussed that words fitted into three groups.

  1. Words that they already know e.g. watch, house, quietly
  2. The bit to focus on – I’ll come back to this in a minute
  3. Words that they will probably only remember when in the zone and thinking about it e.g. photosynthesis, chunking

The decision was made to focus on the group 2 words. So far we have had words such as: friendship, emotion and perspective. We spend 2-3 minutes each day looking at the word, saying it, spelling it, putting it into sentences etc and it is helping to improve vocabulary and the children’s writing.

Following this, we thought about making a bigger impact in our year group. I have been following Alan Peat for a while now and I am a big fan of his books. The one that I used a lot last year talked about different sentence types and he has recently released a follow-up. Both of the books contain a variety of different sentences and in class, we are picking one a week to focus on. In future weeks, I hope to let the children choose the focus sentence.

We started with BOYS sentences and these contained But Or Yet So. This helped to teach the children about connecting ideas together in different ways (not just with “and”). Last week though, we had huge success with the sentence of three with action as suggested by Pie Corbett, author of Jumpstart Literacy and Jumpstart Storymaking. This works like a 3 item list with commas but has more detail and describes actions.

We were writing the story of Bear and Hare from the John Lewis advert and there’s a great bit where the animals are decorating the tree. This is where most children put the sentence to great use. Here are some examples:

The hedgehog walked over, picked up the decoration and gave it to the squirrel to put on the tree. Carefully, the deer reached down, picked up the bauble and hung it on the nearest branch.

Our aim is to choose a different sentence type each week and teach how it can be used, altered and adapted to suit the need. So far, it has given the children the chance to explore sentences and experiment with their writing.

Writing Exciting Sentences
Wednesday, November 07th, 2012 | Author:

A little while ago I was talking to some people who had attended literacy training with Alan Peat (@alanpeat – http://www.alanpeat.com/) and they mentioned his book “Writing Exciting Sentences” and being an area I was interested in, I bought the book. Now I am not a literacy specialist, far from it. In fact, I like finding new ways to inspire my literacy teaching so that, in turn, I can inspire the writing of the children in my class.

As with everything, the book arrived and went on the ‘to do ‘ pile for a few weeks until finally I sat down and flicked through it. I wish I had done so earlier. In the book there are 25 sentence types with a simple explanation and then some examples. That’s pretty much it. I think they are aimed more at year 6, so having Year 3/4 I decided some adaptation was needed. I took the ideas and wrote one of each sentence types on an A5 card, added examples and laminated it. The idea being that each week I would introduce a different sentence type and see how it helped.

I’m not good at waiting. Rather than waiting for the cars to be laminated and given out to my tables, I just took the book to my literacy group and showed them one sentence. I challenged them to see what they could do and straight away the table next to them asked for a challenge too. So I gave them the “the more…the more” sentence type.

For example: The more the sun beat down on me, the more I needed a drink. The more I explored the island, the more alone I felt.

With no teaching and just a simple prompt, the children produced some wonderful sentences today. It made me really excited to see what would happen in a few weeks with some teaching input behind these ideas! I would definitely recommend getting the book and I have since found out that there are others worth looking at too.

Here’s an example from Francesca:

Category: blogposts, Curriculum  | Tags: ,  | 5 Comments