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Real readers, real writers and a home-grown experience

Ellis, Sue and Friel, Gill (2005) Real readers, real writers and a home-grown experience. Thinking Classroom.

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Abstract

As with many good innovations, it began with a real and pressing problem. We wanted the students at St Ninians Primary, a large city school for children aged 5-12 years, to develop a sense of audience for their writing. In Scotland, story writing is commonly taught using story frames and planning sheets that ask students to identify the characters, the setting, the initiating problem/event and the resolution. Despite this support, students often omit important details and find it hard to 'decentre' and consider their writing from the reader's perspective. This is a vital part of becoming an author: "A sense of authorship comes from the struggle to put something big and vital into print, and from seeing one's own printed words reach the heats and minds of readers." (Calkins, 1986)