Our Year 4 writers have just completed the most brilliant adventure stories. Their writing unit was packed with learning about so many aspects of writing including story structure, use of pronouns, past progressive verbs and dialogue, as well as subordinating conjunctions, prepositions and adverbials.
The unit began with students investigating story structure by looking at the concept of a ‘story mountain’ whereby the story passes through stages including opening, setting, problem, rescue and resolution. This concept proved very effective in supporting the children to ‘chunk’ the structural elements of story writing.
Students were challenged to write in the third person and imagine telling the story from the outside looking in. They were also focused on language choices, in particular, the effective use of nouns and pronouns along with their vocabulary choices.
The children especially enjoyed the drama elements of the unit where they focused on the use of dialogue to tell a narrative. Whilst engaging in this part of the unit the children worked with a partner to write scripts and act these out.
The students were exposed to a range of other descriptive writing devices including adverbials, expanded noun phrases, similes and alternatives to ‘said’.
The depth of learning experienced by the students meant that they had a huge range of skills and knowledge to draw upon when planning their stories collaboratively in groups. The group work and collaboration at this stage of the unit was so impressive. From these plans each child then wrote, rehearsed and performed their stories.
Somehow the name of Mr McCarthy made its way into a number of stories. In one story called “How to Save a School Principal”, I was swept away into a flood but luckily rescued by a group of students floating on a log who reached out desperately to grab me!
This unit has been a major learning highlight this year as it allowed students to develop a very good understanding of story structure along with a wide range of descriptive writing devices. Additionally the children had several opportunities to collaborate with one another, learn from one another and ultimately work together to achieve a goal.