Reluctant writers? Give them a post it note!

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend an Alan Peat Non Fiction writing conference. If you ever get the chance, go to one of his conferences – you won’t be disappointed! I learnt so much, not just about writing, but so much of what he advised would help children with poor organisational skills, poor working memory and so much more!

One of the things suggested was to use coloured post its to enable children to group and categorise information after brainstorming. I used a role on the wall activity for the brainstorming.

Cinderella role on wallAfter that we used coloured post it notes to group our thoughts into 6 different categories. The following lesson we did the same for an Egyptian version of Cinderella and later in the week the children chose a couple of topics to write about in depth.

Cinderella categories

This lesson worked well for the following reasons:

  1. Children who would normally need copious amounts of cajoling to participate and write got straight into the task. Why? I think it helped their organisational skills by breaking the task into manageable chunks.
  2. All children kept to task and were keen to work through step by step, then get their work displayed up on the wall.
  3. The novelty factor! Something different to whiteboards!
  4. When we started lesson 2 there was the visual reminder of how we had worked through the task the previous day, and the children were even more confident.
  5. It led nicely into writing. The children had a better concept of paragraphing through the colours and could choose just a couple of areas to compare.

Thank you Alan Peat, plus all of the experts I’ve met along the way who have taught me about dyslexia and ways to support in class.

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