Friday 3rd and Monday 6th March, 2017
It was an absolute pleasure to visit Mr Wisdom’s P7 class (ages 11-12) for two days of Heroes Football fun. Our big themes for the week were teamwork and dialogue.
After demonstrating the importance of dialogue and the punctuation rules, we asked the kids to write out conversations in pairs. Their aim was to use the many, many options other than ‘said’ to tell the reader more about the characters and their emotions. The room was beautifully quiet as they got to work and it proved a great way for them to practice what they had just learnt.
Next, we looked at ‘Chapter 12: Growing Pains II’ from our book, Gareth Bale: The Boy Who Became a Galactico. In the chapter, there is plenty of dialogue between Gareth and Theo Walcott as they help each other to succeed at Southampton. Once the kids had highlighted the different bits of dialogue in the text, we discussed key sporting ideas like jealousy, support, encouragement and determination.
It was then time for the kids to start planning their creative writing pieces. They had three options to suit everyone: the football fans, the imaginative writers, and the personal storytellers.
The kids had various techniques for planning their work (tables, mind maps, bullet points) but they all had to provide character and setting detail as well as the Beginning, Middle, End.
On Monday morning, it was finally writing time! With Friday’s plans to guide them, the kids got cracking. We kept reminding them of the two big themes that we wanted to see – Dialogue and Teamwork.
As the first people finished, we highlighted the importance of reading through and editing your work. We asked them to read their stories to themselves to see if any more punctuation was needed to reflect the vocal pauses. They were also told to check their spelling and their use of dialogue.
Before the end of the day, there was just enough time for some author questions. The kids wanted to know about everything from my favourite books as a child, to my favourite footballers, to how a book was published/printed.
I was really impressed with the enthusiasm, good behaviour and curiosity of all the kids at OLSJ. I’m looking forward to my next visit in May, where we’ll be working on reading comprehension.