At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog post about the nightmare of levelling a piece of writing without having any levels to level the writing with or without any examples of worked that had been levelled without levels to see if my children’s writing was on the level I thought they were at; without there actually being any levels to level the children with as we are now no longer using levels. (I’ve read that back ten times and it does make sense!) Here it is.
The writing we were trying to level was based around our watching of The Snowman just before Christmas and never before had I used film in this way in the classroom. The children had to write a diary entry for what young James (no I didn’t realise he had a name until I watched it with my class, but it was written on his Christmas present from Santa) had experienced that day. My class excelled themselves! Their writing was phenomenal!
So, I thought to myself, lets use film again. Sure enough, after Christmas I did two weeks of creative writing on the planet Jakku from Star Wars, inspired by @ICT_MrP and his Star Wars writing. Again, my class excelled themselves. Their setting descriptions and story openers were excellent.
Then I started thinking about Literacy in Spring 2. Being the huge Marvel Comics Film fan (MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe to those of us in the know). I am employing my knowledge of that and the fact that my class 99% enjoy the films as well to write persuasive texts along the lines of the up and coming Captain America: Civil War film. The film sees Captain America and Iron Man fall out over whether superheroes should be registered by the government or not in order to stop them doing more damage when stopping evil villains. Cap thinks they shouldn’t, Iron Man thinks they should; cue all kinds of trouble kicking off, superheroes picking sides and lots of loyalties being split. (This is the premise in the Civil War comics that the film is based upon, how true to the comics the film will be is anyone’s guess but the trailers look promising).
What better way to introduce persuasive arguments I thought than to use this premise with my year 4 and 5s. Consequently, I wrote this WAGOLL (What a good one looks like) using common features of a persuasive piece that I will use as a basis for the unit.
Along the way with this unit I have planned in activities where the children turn themselves into superheroes, recount how they became that hero, write a diary entry of someone that they saved and the experience they had. Before eventually getting their superhero alter ego to pick a side and write their own persuasive piece. Culminating in a superhero rally where each of the children will dress up as their hero and deliver their persuasive piece on a podium surrounded by other heroes who boo or cheer accordingly.
In conclusion, here is my first attempt at sharing a resource that I myself have made. I have based it on a strategy that I know works by tapping into my class’s interest and adapting it to fit a unit of work without shoehorning it in. It’s challenging to read but my first session with the class will be inspired by @MrsPTeach and her whole class reading sessions so the class get to grips with it and understand it. Also, if it is more challenging at the start the children’s final product should be excellent. If you like it, please use it, but let me know how I did so I can feel I am making a difference.