I was first introduced to the concept of ‘Big Writes’ on a teaching placement in my third year of university. I know it comes with some pre-set ideas and that you’re usually supposed to follow some sort of regular format, but I’m just not that kind of person. I like to mix and match ideas and do what I think will work for the age range I teach. So, what I call a big write might not actually be what the original concept was. What I tend to think of as a big write is a 45 minute session where the children do nothing but write. Achy fingers at the ready.
For anyone, a solid 45 minutes of writing might be a long time. I know that if I had to sit and write something out by hand for a full 45 minutes I might find myself staring out of the window at the 35 minute mark, if not before. Unless it was something I was super interested in.
And that’s the first thing I’ll look for when planning a big write. Something interesting that the kids will fall in love with. Fingers crossed, if I get this right, they’ll not even notice that they’ve been writing for such a long time. Our first big write session of the year went great. As we’re looking at space this term, ‘La Luna’ is a fab fit. It’s actually something I stumbled upon whilst searching through Now TV over the summer holidays, but the Literacy Shed is usually my go to source for video hooks. My efforts weren’t wasted; a few of the kids commented: “did you choose this because we’re learning about space this term?” Nothing by coincidence.