The Big Write – Information for Parents
Following our whole school training on ‘Big Writing’ – your child is taking part in The Big Write! Take a look below and all shall be revealed!
What is the Big Write?
Ros Wilson is the creator of The Big Write. She has developed a way of teaching writing to children which focuses on four main aspects of writing – Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation (VCOP). Through weekly writing sessions (known as Big Writing), children will develop their skills in these areas, as well as learning about and revising several different genres, therefore improving their overall writing ability.
We have started our VCOP activities and we are now introducing The Big Write every week. We are sure that the children’s enthusiasm for writing will increase along with their confidence. They will become better at improving their own writing through self-assessment and develop a greater understanding of the writing process. Big Writing takes place every Thursday morning in our school.
The Four Elements of the Big Write
Vocabulary In this area we promote the use of “WOW” words in their writing. These are words which are ambitious for the children to use. We encourage the children to look for “WOW” words in their reading of texts, (for example, reading books, novels read at home) and we also highlight the fact that “WOW” words can be found in conversations (for example, on TV or with friends and/or family).
It’s really easy to help your child with this!! Read with them and to them. Share “WOW” words from your own reading and tell them words which you would use in different situations.
Connectives make sentences longer because they join pieces of information together. The children are aware that there are different levels of connectives; therefore they are able to develop their writing appropriately. We ask the children to use connectives at the beginning of sentences so they can be used as sentence openers too.
How can you help?
Discuss different connectives with your child. Match connectives together. For example, which connectives could be used instead of „and‟? Talk about making sentences longer and more interesting by using a range of connectives – not simply and / but / because.
There are different ways of opening sentences. Younger children will use words like I / Then / They. We want to encourage the children to think of other words to use. Older children will be introduced to Power Openers.
Here we ask the children to use connectives to start sentences. We would develop their skills by showing them how to use words ending with ly, ing or ed. (For example; Amazingly, John was happy to get on with his work).
Ideas on how to help with Openers
Spend time discussing different ways to start sentences. Give your child examples of Power Openers that you can think of. Use verbs and adjectives to describe what people are doing and make up a sentence with the verb / adjective at the beginning e.g. Walking home from school one day, I saw a massive dog. Huffily he agreed to complete his homework. Opening words ending in ly or ing are called… POWER OPENERS!
We show the children different forms of punctuation and give them examples of how to use them. Punctuation is differentiated into Levels. The children play lots of games using the learning and to explain their thoughts.
|. ? , !|
|. ? , ! … ’ “”|
|. ? , … – ! ’ “” : ; ( )|
You can help!!
Make up fun sentences using different forms of punctuation. Give your child a piece of punctuation and ask them to give you a sentence using it and you will be amazed at the improvement in their understanding!
As part of the preparation for this session, which is known as The Big Write, pupils will be given a Talk Homework. The idea of The Big Write is that if the children can’t say it, they can’t write it. We need to encourage the development of language and listening skills in order to develop the children’s writing ability. Talk Homework is an approach developed through The Big Write that promotes the development of such conversations.
To help your child get the most of their Talk Homework task, Ros Wilson, the creator of Big Writing, suggests that we try to do the following:
If you require any support or clarification about how to conduct ‘Talk Homework’, please contact your class teacher or myself.