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What a life!

Term 1/a - 2020–2021

Project Overview

In Term 1/a, REAL School learners aged 9-12 were preparing for a pretty exciting adventure. They organised an overnight camp, with a meal plan, activity plan, and risk assessment that all students had been involved in. Part of this big project was writing a story from their own life. Read more about the related learning goals and the whole process below.

Learning Goals

  • Publish a piece of writing about a significant life event as a part of the class book

  • Improve the ability to express oneself in both writing and speaking

  • Engage an audience through strong communication and empathy

  • Redraft the work based on feedback so there is progression

  • Perform the story to an unfamiliar audience

The Process - From the children's perspective

1. Dream: The dream phase is where we ask lots of questions to explore the possibilities of storytelling. We brought in other stories to start to consider what makes a good story. We interviewed a family member to explore what events in our lives make a good story. We also thought about our potential audiences and what they might find interesting.

2. Plan: We identified the form of a story, how it is introduced and how a dilemma is resolved and the story concluded. We started to read autobiographical texts and used them as an example to craft our own structure. We wrote our biopics to introduce ourselves, carefully considering what makes us unique. Jumping off with this, we started to plan our autobiographies. We chose an event that stood out to us and made a basis of the story with a clear dilemma outlined.

3. Do: This is a big part of the process. We produced our first written draft of the story that we checked ourselves. We looked at what tricks authors use to make their story more interesting, even bending the truth sometimes. This includes choice of vocabulary, surprise, detail, sentence structure for increasing the sense of drama and the structure of the text too. We then received feedback on how to improve.

4. ReDo: We then used this feedback to improve our first draft so that it would be ready for the publishers! A few tweaks here and there and we were almost ready!

5. Share: We practiced telling our stories as a performance for the camp. We explored what makes a good performance and developed our confidence, our projection, eye contact and pacing. We will of course, perform this twice. Firstly we performed our full story at the camp. We then gave each other feedback and started to practice even more so that we could tell an extract from our stories confidently to an audience of parents at our Learning Expo.

Read the stories of REAL School learners in our first half-term booklet. We hope you enjoy them!

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