After innovating twice, children were well immersed in the text type, they had fully internalised the Writers’ Toolkit and were ready to invent their own suspenseful story. After watching a film clip from Harry Potter, we discussed and boxed up the main events and discussed the key moments which contributed to the intended effect – making the audience think something bad was going to happen.
Just like during innovation, we then worked with the children to create save-boxes (banks of ideas) which could be used in their writing. We chose different elements of the Writers’ Toolkit on which to focus and again, we focused on the different sentence structures we had learned during this and previous units. The result was banks of sentences in both children’s books and on the working wall, ready to be transferred into planning:
A key moment after this was the transferral of these ideas and construction of new ones into a plan for writing. We placed sentences from save it boxes into the relevant section of the boxed up plan and then deliberately crafted new sentences using the structures on which we had been focusing, always with the intended effect in mind. What children were left with were detailed plans, which prepared them very well for writing.
We modelled writing, making explicit use of the plan and the toolkit to encourage the same kind of ‘writerly’ behaviour in the children. Support staff worked with small groups of children crafting one sentence at a time, making deliberate use of their plan throughout.
As with innovation lessons, each writing lesson during the invention phase would involve children either self or peer assessing their work. This might involve children choosing a successful part of their writing and a bit to improve which they would then independently or collaboratively edit. This develops their metacognitive skills. It could also involve children placing post-it notes onto their writing to identify which parts of the toolkit they have used, which provides the teacher with an assessment of a child’s understanding and internalisation of the toolkit:
Final pieces of writing from children of all abilities were successful: children had made conscious, deliberate use of the Writers’ Toolkits in order to achieve an indended effect. With the effect in mind, children had learned how to craft effective and highly accurate sentences through their familiarisation with and practice of various sentence types and structures.