Year Five – Memoir


Why do this project?

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here – Sue Monk Kidd

Simple recounts tell what is remembered but not perhaps why it is remembered. They are preoccupied with ‘information’. This class writing project is different. It shows children that they can share heartfelt moments from their lives – funny, sad, happy, strange, surprising, or maybe scary. The best memoirs are little vignettes of things that occur in everyday life to which we can all relate. These, of course, are often the things that matter. Writing a memoir helps children understand the power of writing as a reflective tool; sharing them makes them into a social resource which creates empathy and brings the whole community together. They show us how others see and experience the world, and help us appreciate all the things we have in common.

Memoir is a kind of storytelling, and children are natural memoirists. They possess a fund of ready material for writing, and of course, like all of us, they love embellishing their stories with details that don’t always tell the whole truth. In memoir as a genre, they can be playful and experimental, and try out many of the things they love about writing.

Finally, there is no doubt that what children learn in this project they will use in their fictional story writing. Real moments from our lives can be reimagined and transformed to create other worlds. Maybe all fiction comes out of memoir – the remembered personal narratives we tell ourselves and others.

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

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

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing

Go back