Teachers aim to teach students to be effective writers. This can be challenging, especially when teaching students to shape imaginative stories. The author Will Kostakis, author of The First Third, who TRIO met recently, explained that truth + imagination = story. So the best starting place is children’s own experiences mixed with a bit of imagination. Use text or life experiences as the jumping off point and add a touch of invention to create interest. As I was thinking about this idea, I recalled one of my favourite photos. Where are these two kids going? What is in the bag? There is definitely a story behind every photo or experience.
Teachers model explicit strategies in the English block as students read and respond to stories and then, reflect on their purpose and audience as they compose stories. The challenge we currently face, as we introduce the Australian Curriculum, is freeing students up to write as we scaffold their developing understanding of the elements of story telling.