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I am a year one teacher in a two form entry school, so plan with another teacher. Our focus for this year is to improve writing standards, and we are being observed this week by the Head.

I'm not sure if we are planning correctly for the children's writing.

The children are currently doing a poetry unit and are writing a new poem every day.

I always thought that writing should come as a sequence - reading, reading for writing, speaking and listening for writing and then writing. Should the children be doing this, or are we doing it correctly?

Any advice welcome please and thank you!!




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I would say that writing a poem everyday is very ambitious especially at this stage of year 1. Thinking back to when I did literacy planning I would say it is important for children to experience lots of different poems - I used to do this in guided reading and the children would choose one that they wanted to practise reading to a friend. I then would ask them to consider why they liked it. I think when writing poetry it is good to have a poetry frame otherwise it is incredibly difficult. I hope this is slightly helpful.

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In addition to this I'm pretty sure that at this time of year the goal for the poetry unit is to "contribute to a class poem". I recently completely this unit and we did loads of sensory stuff, coming up with describing words, etc., then we built up to activities to write class poems.


We did 'The Magic Box'. I read it and then took in a biscuit tin filled with different things (one in each section of the plastic inserts - there's an article about it on here somewhere). The children explored the things and talked about them in small groups. Then each child chose one to put into their 'magic box' and wrote a line on a strip of paper using describing words. We got some really good responses such as "a glowing monster" for an alien torch, "a sparkly necklace" etc. We then arranged these into group verses and finally came together as a class to put all the verses together. Finally we had a guided writing session to write the last two verses of the poem (which are what the box looks like and what the poet does with the magic box). We got some fantastic writing out of my year ones who are really not usually big on imagination and writing.


Obviously this was a series of lessons, but it was also the culmination of the unit. The children hadn't written their own complete poems at all, just contributed to the class one. They certainly weren't ready for writing their own!

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