Guest blog by SEN advisor, Carol Allen
For so many students, it is the actual initial ‘starting point’ that is the barrier to producing written text. They need more than a title, or a question, to respond to. Creativity of thought under pressure, combined with anxiety about their ability to produce an ‘expected’ result, can block progress and lead to displacement activities which frequently lead to behaviour issues.
Many of the resources offered by LGfL, give opportunities for writing that have a clear starting point and structure, thus offering a secure way forward. Out of the wealth of choices, here are five to get you thinking!
1. Cookit! Will take your students into the world of menus and ‘foodie’ reviews. Watch a video, read the recipe and write a review based on the details you have discovered.
2. The SEN Assist FairyTales activities can be explored interactively. These engaging tales offer differentiated multisensory activities to explore and which will help build up a word/idea/structure bank for personal writing. These ideas can then form the basis of the written task.
3. The Widgit symbol selection can be used to create a story sequence of memory prompts to enable a student to recreate a rehearsed story in writing independently. Once a starting point has been looked at, for example a photograph, video or story, the child can be encouraged to pick symbols that represent key points they wish to make in their writing. These can be sequenced then used as a prompt for those moments when it is not clear what the next step should be.
4. Audio Networks can be used to create a mood and set a tone for a writing session. If you are trying to write in character, for example, as a gladiator in The Romans topic, playing the Gladiator music from Audio Networks will increase the sensory input and perhaps trigger a wider range of responses and ideas.
5. Play one of the games in Busy Things Golden Time, then write the instructions for a friend to follow and complete the game easily. This allows an engaging ‘hook’ whilst moving towards instructional writing for a purpose.
For more info on LGfL’s inclusive resources, go to www.inclusion.lgfl.net.