With over 300 pages of mini-lessons, The Writing For Pleasure Centre’s BIG Book Of Mini-Lessons provides teachers with vital instruction and children with essential strategies in the eight key writing areas.
The categories include: Being Writers, Generating Ideas, Organisation & Structure, Fluency, Clarity & Accuracy, Developing, Word Choices and finally Spelling.
As well as organising our lessons by craft area, you are also able to navigate the mini-lessons by genre: Poetry, Fiction and Non-fiction, by age: EYFS (3-5), KS1 (5-7), and KS2 (7-11), and by process: Generating Ideas, Planning, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing. This makes it easy for you to find the mini-lesson you feel your class needs most.
Why develop children’s writing knowledge?
Writing-study mini-lessons are the single most effective teaching practice you can employ (Young & Ferguson 2021). This is because they are about sharing the powerful ‘how to’ knowledge, the hints, tips and secrets of being a writer, before inviting children to apply what you’ve taught them during that day’s writing time. It’s about focusing explicitly on the teaching of writing. The important thing is that your pupils feel they are learning something valuable (that other excellent and experienced writers do) and that they will be able to do it in their writing too.
Developing children’s craft knowledge means they learn about how a writer writes and how they are moved to write by generating and spotting their most promising writing ideas. When children are knowledgeable about writing, they organise and structure their ideas better and in ways that suit their purpose and audience. They are able to translate their initial thoughts and ideas onto paper quickly and fluently. They are able to reflect on and refine their writing by keeping their focus and by writing with clarity. They think about the substance of their words and know where elaboration and detail is necessary. They consider their word choices and use of vocabulary. Finally, they are able to adhere to the conventions that their readers come to expect, and so are able to write something that is accurate and successful.
Why this book?
We know that many teachers feel they don’t know where to start when it comes to teaching about writing. This is partly because many of us weren’t taught valuable craft knowledge when we were at school. To add insult to injury, many of us didn’t learn how to teach writing effectively on our initial teacher education courses, and so we feel utterly underprepared to write and teach writing (Young & Ferguson 2021). As a result, many of us feel we lack knowledge and understanding about how writing is made. Writing has remained a mystery. This book gives you and your class access to this knowledge.
We strongly believe that it’s ultimately you, the teacher, who should be creating mini-lessons in response to what your individual class needs. We still hold this view, but we have now come to appreciate that teachers want to see real examples of great writing teaching and so understand how to teach it for themselves. As a result, we have teamed up with two other fantastic writer-teachers (Tobias Hayden & Marcela Vasques) to share our favourite and most powerful writing lessons.