Sunday 3 September 2017

Thinking about helping students to write?

Thinking about helping kids to write? 
(If you already do this, know this, just ignore what follows!) 

Hollywood have just produced a 'Lord of the Flies' with girls instead of boys. Forget whether it might be good/bad or not. It's a great way to get school students of all ages to write: just 'flip' or 'switch' an element of a story: e.g. one character/some characters/ all of the characters/one aspect of the setting/the whole setting...switch from animals to humans/vice versa - switch setting from e.g. earth to space, from one country to another....

This way you keep the 'syntax' of the story, while changing one or more of the 'paradigms'. You are doing the equivalent of changing 'The cat sat on the mat' to e.g. 'The dog sat on the mat' or e.g. 'The cat sat on the cat'....and seeing what happens.

It relieves kids from 'plotting' a story, it takes them into the idea that writing is partly about 'play', playing with the ideas, thoughts and texts that already exist and when you switch or flip, new thoughts, ideas and texts come to mind. They may well create new plots without even knowing they are, as they play with the paradigms.