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  Children aged 4 to 11 develop written stories through the Play-talk-think-write(R) approach - The English Team  

The English Team has been producing Play-talk-think-write® Boxes since 2005. There was a growing awareness in primary schools that children were finding it more difficult to craft complete well-structured stories, perhaps because of a reliance on television ‘soaps’ and long films, rather than short, complete stories. There was also a growing divide between the quality of boys’ and girls’ writing, with boys tending to be ‘reactive writers’ (Donald Graves 1984) who liked to make noises, play through their stories and be much more physically involved in creating. Hence, instead of a restrictive planning pro-forma for writing, what many boys needed was something that enabled them to move, think, draw, talk and, sometimes, make noises. The play-plan shapes provide the arena for such an approach. There are six shapes and each Play-talk-think-write® box identifies which should be used. Additionally, cards defining the character traits of each figure in the box and a story outline provide brief guidelines, which prevent incomplete stories simply trailing off. Each Play-talk-think-write® Box includes 4-9 figures, ranging from finger puppets to plastic characters depending on the age range for which they are intended. The English Team provides a ‘Research file’ which must be purchased with each initial order as it provides a brief research background and explanation of how to use the resources, with clear guidance on use of play-plans. Over the past six years both boys and girls aged between four and eleven have used the Play-talk-think-write® Boxes and we have many examples of their work and comments.

Members of the English Team have provided INSET, CPD, conferences and staff meetings for teachers, individual schools and trainee teachers across Higher Education and five local authorities in North West England. In addition to PTTW approaches, the Team provides advice and in-service sessions on developing children’s learning, particularly writing, through drama, familiarity with short stories and other creative approaches.


  Tel:    0151 327 8650
Web: http://www.theenglishteam.com
Email: englishteam115@hotmail.com
Fax:   0151 513 9410


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