Discussion

Why do this project?

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument, an exchange of ignorance – Robert Quillen

This discussion writing project builds on what children have learnt in other non-fiction projects in previous years. For example, they have learnt how to recount. They’ve learnt how to tell stories and write memoirs of their past. They’ve learnt how to give information to others and how to explain themselves. They’ve learnt how to account for and explain why things happen in both history and science and, finally, they’ve learnt how to hold a position on something they care about through persuasion. However, there are subtle differences between this project and all of the others we provide. Discussion isn’t just explanation. It’s not about simply giving facts or writing about the consequences of something, nor is it just a persuasive piece. It’s not there simply to promote and champion your position, nor is it there simply to challenge or destroy another’s. Instead, discussion brings all of these skills together. Children will learn to consider more than one point of view and use recounts, poetic metaphor, evidence, explanation and persuasion to better understand both sides. Writing discussion pieces is about being both thoughtful and penetrative.

We discuss things all the time. We weigh things up and discuss things in our heads. We hear people out – we might challenge their thinking from time to time and we will probably try to justify our thoughts with some kind of explanation. We might also challenge what we’ve heard but still be open to changing our own opinion. In the world of social media, globalisation and political polarisation, discussion is an important life and academic skill that children should be exposed to, and they should know how to use it for themselves.

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

  • Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
  • Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor texts
  • Over forty-five writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
  • Suggested book list for your classroom library

+ Our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:

  • Year 6 purpose and audience writing wheel
  • Publishing and performance menu
  • 4 exemplar texts
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Dabbling and drafting advice
  • Revision checklist
  • Editing checklist

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing

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