Aims To consider the benefits of a cross curricular approach to writing To explore how different aspects of writing can be applied across the curriculum To exploit opportunities for writing in different subject areas.
Learning and teaching of literacy across the curriculumhas three major aims: 1. To broaden and enhance children’s command of literacy skills by providing them with a range of different contexts in which to use and practise these skills 2. To locate the teaching of the literacy skills which are central to the language of a particular subject within that subject. 3. To enhance the learning of the subject itself and the attitudes of children towards that learning. Additionally, work across the curriculum provides a rich source of experience, language and stimulation to support the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Key principles Writing is a key skill in its own right and as a tool for other learning. Composition opportunities using a range of media should occur not just in literacy lessons but across all areas of the curriculum. Learning writing skills is most effective when it is applied as part of a cohesive piece of work and not just a ‘one- off’ or formal exercises. Opportunities to practise and apply literacy skills across the curriculum in order to give context and real purpose to writing should be encouraged.
Key principles Children should learn how a skill or concept can be applied to other learning, or in another curriculum area. Literacy skills are enhanced and developed in specific subject areas as part of learning and teaching processes but also subject knowledge from a range of areas of learning should be used to inform and develop literacy teaching Opportunities to apply literacy across the curriculum should extend beyond non-fiction. Application across the curriculum gives children opportunities to make informed choices and decisions about form and purpose when writing.
DiscussionWhat happens in your school now?Is there two way traffic between Literacy and other subject areas?Which subjects have the strongest links?Where do links need to be developed?
The benefits for boysBoys make best progress when there is choice of topic or content with clarity over the form required; balance within the curriculum between an emphasis on ‘skills’ and a focus on content; talk for writing across the curriculum; from the Foundation Stage onwards, an opportunity for ‘real’ writing activities ; a cohesive unit of work and is not just ‘one-off ’ sessions; an awareness of the purpose of each task within the unit, in particular how a skill or concept can be applied to other learning, or in another curriculum area; teacher input on how skills learned in word-level and sentence-level teaching are applied in ‘real’ writing activities; a scheme of work for Literacy and across the curriculum providing for a wide range of genres to be studied and practised; a curriculum including approaches to learning that feel ‘active’, such as drama, working with media texts and ICT, etc.
Writing Strands 9- Creating and shaping texts 10- Text structure and organisation 11- Sentence structure and punctuation 12- PresentationAlways plan from the objectives and assess using the AFs
Application of Sentence Construction and PunctuationAcross the Curriculum (AFs 5 and6) Adopt a zero – tolerance attitude to punctuation and sentence construction across all subject areas. Display expectations for sentence construction and punctuation across the school. From time to time, children are asked to include certain sentence construction and punctuation features in writing from another subject area. Self and peer assess against sentence and punctuation focus. Encourage children to speak in complete and extended sentences in different contexts. Always model sentence structure and punctuation appropriate to the age related expectations for your year group when demonstrating writing.
Consider How could you develop this aspect across all lessons?
Application of Phonic/ spelling across the curriculumSkills (AF8) Use sound talk Link letters and sounds to physical activity Create opportunities in non- literacy situations to foster an interest in sounds and words. The first attack when reading and spelling should always be phonics. Children should always be encouraged to work out reading and spelling independently. Children need to attempt to write the bits of a word they can tackle before asking for a word in any writing. Once children have been taught how to use a dictionary/spell check, they should use these in all lessons. Incorporate topic related words into spelling and phonics lessons. Incidental teaching across the curriculum-technical vocabulary. Model segmenting, blending and spelling strategies during shared and guided writing. Marking – should reflect the age- appropriate high frequency words and phonics.
Activity Think of a commonly mis-spelled word from a subject area of your choice e.g angel/angle Think of a “silly” way to help children to remember.e.g. An angel wearing hair gel.
Application of Text Structure and Organisation Acrossthe Curriculum (AF3 and 4) Encourage children to write captions for displays and class books on a range of subjects. Write chronological and non chronological reports on a range of topics- link to school visits and events and all subjects. This will allow children to use what they have learned in literacy for a real purpose. Children should use organisational features such as paragraphs, subheadings, glossaries etc across all writing. Age related expectations should be used by children in all writing e.g once paragraphs have been taught and practised, you would expect children to use them in all writing. Use of connectives, pronouns and adverbials for coherence should be used in all writing.
Application of Creating and Shaping Texts (All AFs,especially AF1,2 and 7) Stories can be written or told based on familiar or different places and cultures. Also, pictures and sculptures can be used as the basis for a story. Instructions are used in DT, Music, ICT, Science, PE and Art. They can also be written for other children to use with equipment around schools. Plan and write non- narrative texts on a range of topics. Children can write captions, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, fact files or information leaflets on screen or paper. Summarise and shape material and ideas from different subjects to write convincing and informative non-narrative texts Create multi-layered texts, including use of hyperlinks and linked web pages on a range of topics. Adapt non-narrative forms and styles to write fiction or factual texts, including poems Write biographies, autobiographies and diaries for historical and religious characters; people from different places and cultures etc.
Consider Strand 12- presentation- how do you/could you encourage application across the curriculum?
More able children benefit when… they have the opportunity to write about their own interests they can research and write about a topic in depth they can experiment with their own formats and cross-genres they have the freedom to risk takeHow could you incorporate their needs into a cross-curricular approach?
Activity Look at the sheets of ideas for writing in different subject areas. Which of these have you used? Which could you adapt to use with the children you teach? What ideas can you add to the lists?
Implications Exploiting links between subjects Planned opportunities to write for a real purpose and audience Expectations of Literacy skills across the curriculum Balance between skills and content Timetable issues