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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Following the changes to the Essex 11+ for 2015 I've been starting to look at creative writing with DS and thanks to some advice on here I discovered the magic money prompt cards. I tried to use them with DS tonight but he couldn't seem to get started with any of the story titles, even though they provide an opening for them.

He says that at school (yr 5) when they do creative writing it is structured around retelling a story to do with a topic they have been studying and he seemed quite taken aback at the idea of thinking up ideas to write a story just from a given title. Has anyone else encountered this problem or got any advice or suggestions of resources to use? He loves books and reads quite widely, but it feels like I need to take a step back and look at how to generate ideas in order to write a story. I will have a chat with his teacher as well to see if I'm getting the correct info about writing at school!
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:53 am 
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Spider diagrams/mind mapping helps start them thinking, but also don't worry about a bit of story plagiarism if it gets them started, they soon go off on tangents from their original concept once the brain juice starts flowing. Drawing from experience of course, but encourage them to exaggerate,

so "the supermarket" title the cards offer could begin the mind map as follows, all in the spider flow bubbles. (Can't create it on here)

Shopping, dull, groceries, trolley, fetching bits for mum,

Shopping for a special event, party food, skidding down the aisles using the trolley, getting lost trying to find bits.

Shopping for my birthday party food, skidding down the aisles on the trolley and smashing over a display of sauce jars, running away scared.

Discovering the supermarket warehouse behind the no entry doors, hiding amongst the boxes, getting locked in, over hearing a plot by the manager and the delivery driver to steal all the chocolate hobnobs.
Etc etc.


The titles on those cards are a bit dull, but then again the test ones may be? Try lots of sources for titles, but use as many of the card coin devices as possible to keep the story interesting, not worrying about flow until the concept and imagination are in place. Then get the flow right and make sure above all else the tenses stay on track.

I maintain if my ds1 can conquer it, anyone can bless him, and the last story he had to write was for an end of term assessment for year 7 at gs...He ended up writing about a time travelling mobile phone, with the opening scene being the protagonist struggling not to drown in the sea after being pushed in from the end of a pier....all from the given title "I was standing there when suddenly". He got a b3 (b++) and for him, I can assure you, that made him very proud).
Good luck
SB


Last edited by southbucks3 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:03 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30503&hilit=Creative+writing

Some useful ideas on this thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:24 am 
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Location: Herts
Start with titles about things he knows a lot about and just get him to talk without writing anything down. Then next time get him to talk and you write it down. This should break him in gently to the idea of looking at a topic and creating a story from it. Next he can have a go at marking someone elses story. If you pm me I have some marked and unmarked stories so he can have a go at marking one and then compare his marking with my marking. After all that he should be ready to have a go himself! DG


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Wow, thanks so much for the helpful replies. I am going to try some of them over the next few days. Also, i remembered the old game of consequences and wondered if that would appeal to DS!
DG - I will pm you, thanks very much


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I used to print pictures - photos usually- for my students (1-1 English who weren't meeting their targets) and get them to describe them. Verbally initially and later in writing. Creative writing is actually rather difficult from thin air - try it yourself. When they had had some practice I used to tell them to try and make a picture in their head as this was more like an exam situation.

Another tip is to think about all the senses - what did it smell like? How did it sound? Children often concentrate solely on the visual. Oh, and no more than one line of direct speech, just to show you know how to do it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:11 pm 
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I worry that we put children off writing with all this early emphasis on writing a story in the way an adult would. I also wonder why it is valued so much as entrance exam material. Not many authors appear out of the other end of school.

But yes, these are all excellent tips and I wish my children were taught this way at school from time to time. If we do an entrance exam requiring writing we will be back to this thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:12 pm 
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[quote="Amber"

Another tip is to think about all the senses - what did it smell like? How did it sound? Children often concentrate solely on the visual. Oh, and no more than one line of direct speech, just to show you know how to do it.[/quote]


This is the bit where the magic creative coin card prompts are a real winner!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:27 pm 
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mystery wrote:
I worry that we put children off writing with all this early emphasis on writing a story in the way an adult would. I also wonder why it is valued so much as entrance exam material. Not many authors appear out of the other end of school..

I was thinking just that as I typed my post earlier, mystery. What is the ****** point?
I guess I make my money from writing now, such as it is, but could no more write a piece of fiction than rewire my house. It is odd that we expect children to be able to do it, I agree.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Has anyone used story cubes? we have a set (from waterstones), they come in a box of 9 with small icons (animals, house etc.) on them, then you just make up a story based around the cubes... Kids usually end up laughing their little heads off, they can be as serious / surreal / funny as they like - just another tool to encourage the creative juices going. It's a short, fun and simple thing to do - parents can also have a go at telling a story, usually ours have less silliness in them ;)


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