The national lockdowns have heavily affected writing, dividing our youngest writers’ interests. Some of the children have taken the additional creative time available from the different learning methods to create poems, stories and even their own novels; others have avoided picking up a pen. Either way, this is the first National Writing Day within a ‘normal’ school year; it deserves to be celebrated! To further inspire those who have found an avenue for their creativity and for those who need a little writing motivation, this article collates 8 awesome ideas for you to get your children writing, no matter the skill, interest, or age group.
What is National Writing Day?
In its sixth year of celebration, National Writing Day was created by a coalition of Literacy organisations and publishers; First Story, the charity championing Literacy skill development, was the leader in the creation of the day. National Writing Day will be held this year on 23rd June 2022. It is a day where schools can focus on inspiring their children with exciting activities centred around writing. This can be linked with their current English topic or off timetable. National Writing Day doesn’t have to mean writing a lengthy story, letter, or description piece- that can be daunting to those less confident with writing. It can be an opportunity to explore the links between the Arts and Literacy, music lyric writing, poem creation and intertwining words with art pieces. Now is the time to be as creative as possible.
How do I get involved with National Writing Day?
There is no charge to join in with National Writing Day; your school can join in as much or as little as possible. Some schools take the opportunity to share work across the school: from foundation to Year 6. If you are English Subject Lead, you may want to utilise the chance to get some evidence for your monitoring duties. Challenge all classes to write a story from the same picture or video stimulus and turn it into a school-wide writing competition with year group recognitions or small prizes: in short, raise the writing profile!
Why is writing important?
Writing can be a creative outlet for many; journal writing, self-reflection and even expressive poetry and stories can help mental health. Recent studies have found that 2/5 of children said writing helps their mental health, allowing for creative, alone time.
Writing is a significant push in schools, with boys, disadvantaged and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) historically experiencing poor outcomes. The government's new ambitious targets for 2030 have English competence and confidence at the forefront of the proposed changes in the White Paper. With 90% achieving the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths by 2030 in Key Stage 2. Writing motivation and interest must be sparked to meet these rightfully high targets: we are here to share some creative approaches to encouraging writing across your setting and at home.
8 top ideas for National Writing Day 2022
Using our free sample lessons linked to the wonderful text Little Whale, your Key Stage 1 and EYFS children can explore a multisensory journey into whales. Use visual prompts such as videos and whale sounds to immerse your young writers under the water. Helping them to create ambitious full sentences using phonic focuses of a-e.
Bravery and mental health
Ticking all the boxes with British Values, the heart-warming tale of Pip-Pip in our Be Brave Little Penguin free sample unit is an excellent Writing session which incorporates important wellbeing and resilience lessons. Use empathy to create your own thought bubbles for Pip-Pip throughout his adventure.
The giant task
Using Greta and the Giants as inspiration, read the picture book as a class with your Year 2 children. Unpick the themes of teamwork and kindness. Create a selection of signs to share with your visitors and parents when they enter the building surrounding kindness and bravery.
The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a well-known text and film, use short snippets of the film (animated or cartoon version) to spark interest in your upper Key stage 2 children. Create descriptions of the jungle using their senses, supported by auditory inspiration your children can transport their readers into the depths of the Amazon.
Dinosaurs are a fascinating topic; learning about the different types of animals in prehistoric times can allow the imagination of our young children to run wild! Using our Key Stage 1 free sample of Dinosaur Discovery unit, your children can explore all about dinosaur survival, habitats, diets and skeletons; whilst posing thought-provoking questions such as ‘Could Diplodocus have been hunted by T-Rex?’. Download a free dinosaur template and encourage your children to fill the inside with different adjectives to describe their dinosaur of choice. This task is easily differentiated, with word banks being able to support as well as dictionaries to extend.
What a puzzle
Linking to Science, Geography, Art and D&T, our free sample of Year 2 Creepy Crawlies unit delves into comparisons of minibeasts, making a minibeast hotel and survival strategies. An excellent writing activity idea for your Key Stage 1 children is to create a poem describing a minibeast without revealing the name. Once written in groups, pairs or individually, your children can share them with their classmates to guess which animal they are describing!
What’s that sound?
Learning about The Blitz is a topic most are thoroughly interested in Upper Key Stage 2; channel this interest by making your lesson multi-sensory. Play an air raid siren in class, and the children will transform into World War 2 evacuees, writing their diary entries in the first person and capturing the emotion and uncertainty of their situation. This is a task where the greater depth writers can get stuck in with, to use different sentence structures to create tension and show-not-tell descriptions for strong emotions.
Utilising the interest in animals, our Amazing Animals unit of work is the perfect route to discuss different types of animals, where they live, and touching on essential knowledge such as endangered animals and how to care for pets correctly. Your children can use National Writing Day to create a how-to poster to care correctly for their favourite domestic animal of choice. To extend further, your children can link the famous artwork of Henry Moore and Henri Rousseau to inspire their animal-based artwork.
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TagsEnglish and Writing
, read in to writing
, Writing Skills