Writing - Storytelling

What is story-telling?

The Storytelling method is a dynamic and creative approach to learning. The main idea is simple: by learning to tell stories and make verbal presentations, children develop great oral communication skills while mastering the language and ideas they need for subsequent writing. This systematic approach is used for both fiction and non-fiction teaching as well as subject specific projects across the curriculum. Whenever children are expected to complete an extended piece of writing, teachers use the storytelling approach. Pupils spend time rehearsing texts orally to master the language and ideas they need for subsequent writing. We promote fluent language use, rather than rote, word-for-word chanting of texts, enabling children to gain confidence by using their voice in an improvised way across a wide range of contexts. Toolboxes are used to help the children identify both the features and grammar relating to a particular text type. Teachers will work in collaboration with the class to write an example piece (shared write) before the children attempt the task independently. As much as possible grammar is taught in context, relating to the task at hand.

Why do we use the storytelling method?

This method, as a consistent whole-school approach, enables shared understanding and collaboration across the school.

It also enables:

  • Access to stories and language without reading
  • Models of plot and characters
  • Internalise key plots and ideas
  • Internalise language and sentence structures
  • Oral rehearsal before writing reduces cognitive load when writing
  • Cultural capital
  • Building confidence in speaking out loud
  • Self-esteem
If you can't tell a story, how will you be able to write a story? 
Pie Corbett

Below are some examples of some children retelling a story by heart, their story maps and some independent written work.

Year 1:

Sentence types

Throughout the school and alongside storytelling, we are also using a system for teaching writing developed by the educational specialist Alan Peat. We teach children how to use particular types of sentences, which have memorable names. The sentence types are designed to help children to write exciting, sophisticated pieces of writing that use the right tone for their purpose. Some sentence types are more appropriate to non-fiction, and others, to fiction writing.

See below the list of Alan Peat Sentence Types we teach across the school:

Editing (COPES and VCAP)

COPES Editing

Re-read your work 5 times, each time check one of these.

After you have completed that one with your green pen then write the letter at the bottom page.

This should take you at least 15 minutes.
Capitalisation

Are my capitals correct?

Do I have capitals for names, days and months and place names?

Do I have capitals for sentences?

Do I have capitals within my speech?

Names: Thursday September Mr. Devereux Billy

Only people who are kind can go on the trip.

The boy shouted “Get out of here!”
 
 Order

Do my sentences make sense in the order, they are? Do I need to change it?

Are my sentences within paragraphs?

Have I missed any words?

Whisper the text out loud to hear it back and check it makes sense.

The boy went to the shops on his bicycle.

Not

The boy went to his bicycle on the shops.
 
Punctuation

Have I used the correct punctuation?

./CL/FS/?/!/“”/:/;/…

What an amazing show!

Why are you doing that?

Dont do that!
 
Expression

Is each sentence a complete thought?

Are any sentences too long, do I need a breath?

Does the next sentence make sense in relation to the last?

Whisper the text out loud to hear it back and check it makes sense.

Every sentence needs a verb and noun.

I ran.

The boy slowly walked around the park.

Then I teddy house.
 
Spelling

Are my spellings using root words?

Have I chosen the correct plural/past tense?

Have I used the correct phonetic spelling?

Have I got my key vocabulary correct?

Have I got my high frequency spelling correct?

If necessary use a dictionary to find correct spellings

High Frequency - said, they, if, he she, saw, was, when, then, finally, the plus more!

Phonics –  ‘say the word robot the word, write the word.’

Key Vocabulary – Samuel Pepys wrote diaries on The Great Fire of London.

Root word- ‘I know how to spell might , so I know how to spell almighty’

Dictionary- find the first letter in the dictionary, then find the next letter.
(At the bottom of the page write different ways to possibly spell the word to check spelling. Think, does it look right?)
COPES   Checked?
 Capitalisation
 
 
 Do I have capitals at the start of a sentence?  
 Do I have capitals for names, days, months and name places?  
 Do I have capitals at the start of my speech?  
 Order
 
 
Do my sentences make sense in the order they are in? Do I need to change them  
 Are my sentences within paragraphs?  
 Have I missed any words?  
Punctuation Have I ended my sentences with a full stop?  
Have I used inverted commas around what is being said?  
Have I used a question mark at the end of a question?  
Have I used an explanation mark to express excitement or to show emphasis?  
Have I used a comma after a fronted adverbial?  
Have I used a comma to separate clauses?  
Have I used an ellipsis to show a pause in my writing or create suspense?  
Expression Is each sentence a complete thought?  
Are there any sentences which are too long and need to add a comma for a breath?  
Does each sentence make sense in relation to the last?  
Spelling

Have I checked my spelling using my reading strategies?

  • Phonics – ‘say the word robot the word, write the word.’
  • Chunking
  • Dictionary- find the first letter in the dictionary, then find the next letter.
 
VCAP Editing

Re-read your work 4 times, each time check one of these.

After you have completed that one with your green pen then write the letter at the bottom of your work.

This should take you at least 15 minutes   
   Upper Key Stage 2  What it looks like in my work How I add it in 
 Vocabulary

Choosing the best using:

  • adjectives
  • similes
  • adverbs
  • alliteration
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Personification
  • Metaphor
  • The large sizeable scary petrifying wolf.
  • The wolf was as big large as a giant colossal pylon.
  • Precariously, the wolf went forward.
  • The slimy snake slithered forwards.
  • They climbed the supreme tower.
  • The moon smiled down at them.
 
 Conjunctions Choosing improved connectives and conjunctions:
  • however
  • because
  • so
  • nor
  • I walked into the forest, but I felt scared
  • It was hot, so I went to the park.
  • I went to school because my mum told me to.
  • I do not like chocolate, nor does my mother.
 
 Adverbials Using adverbials like:
  • ed clauses
  • ing clauses
  • fronted adverbials
  • preposition
  • Unexpectedly, the boy jumped up.
  • Shivering, the girl walked further.
  • The boy, who was nervous, walked on.
  • Excited, the boy kept on going.
 
 Punctuation Can I upgrade my punctuation? 
./CL/FS/?/!/“”/:/;/…
  • What an amazing show!
  • Why are you doing that?
  • Dont do that!
  • I am king of the world!” the girl shouted.
  • The teacher shouted at me; he was very angry.
 

Transcriptional - Spelling / Vocabulary / GPS

As much as possible, we try to incorporate grammar, spelling and punctuation into our everyday teaching of writing throughout the curriculum. However, standalone phonics lessons are taught daily in EYFS and KS1 (interventions in KS2). In addition to this, ‘At a glance words’ are taught and learnt in EYFS and KS1 both in school and at home.

Vocabulary is taught throughout our whole curriculum, particularly in Shared Reading lessons, trips, workshops and assemblies. Wherever possible, dual coding is used to support the understanding of new vocabulary and it is regularly practiced and referred back to by teachers. Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is specifically planned for across the curriculum and displayed both on the wall and in books where possible.

Online tools:

  • Bedrock is an online tool used to support Yr5 and 6 with developing new vocabulary.
  • Lexia is an online tool that supports KS1 and some pupils in KS2 with language, grammar and spelling.
  • Children who are new to English use an online programme called learning village.