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Writing with suspense (Year 6)

Task: Looking at Stormbreaker, describe how Alex might escape from the tank using suspense

Child C (Year 6 Primary)

The water was freezing like the north pole, the freezing water smashed over Alex. Then Alex was searching round the tank to find away to escape but there was no where. Yet Alex was never gonna give up he was trying and trying to escape. In the corner was a sticky beast flapping his tentacales around. The jellyfish was keeping Alex captive. The beast could probably kill every single human being in the world.

The jellyfish was making his way over but Alex was very very tired from swimming around. The jellyfish was so powerful his tentacles was as hard as a humongous rock. Alex was trying to go in the opposite direction but he could’t [But] as hard as he tried.





MB   I was suggesting we compared Child A with Child C, the passage, which is also on Stormbreaker. And it seems to be we get an impression of how much Child A has achieved by comparing him with Child C


LF So this is the one beginning the water was freezing. Because it’s a different task.


MB It’s a different task.


JW It’s taking an event from Stormbreaker


LF But the writing task is different, isn’t it?


UC But it’s much more tortuous. Child A has a fluency that Child C just does not have.


LF Well, they’ve got their bits at the front of the clause, they’ve ticked the box: then, yet, in the corner. And it feels like someone who is attending to grammatical features rather than getting the text flowing.


MB And hasn’t been really inspired by the task.  These are both primary schools. Child C was to some extent inspired by the Will task (see below) and to some extent inspired by the murder of King Duncan (see below) but was pretty indifferent about Stormbreaker


UC You can tell this is really like pulling teeth.


JW The teacher says ‘Give me a more powerful word for ‘humungous’


JW Comments for Child A.  A slightly different format because the comments on Child A’s story, this particular teacher, got the child to write his story on the left hand side of the page and they would put comments on the right. And comments are varied. The teacher did not do this with every piece of writing; but they felt that they could have a dialogue with the child with this one: a great opening sentence; this is a fantastic opening paragraph that really captures the reader’s attention; this is another great paragraph; a lovely bit of detail; good use of repetition; well described; shorten the pace of this sentence; shorten your sentences here also; good pace here; this is a fantastic story with plenty of excitement;(and then perhaps a strange one) next time try to vary your word order.


MB But he has done that.


JW Most of the comments there are really related to the effectiveness of text. Capturing the reader’s attention and allowing the teacher to have  some kind of dialogue with the student.


LF  But nobody would make sense of the last comment though. Yet the feedback on the whole is excellent. The child needs to have a response to the response.


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