Learning objectives and text examples
The key principles of the grammar for writing pedagogy stress:
- the importance of making meaningful connections between the grammar being introduced and how it works in the writing being taught;
- an integrated view of reading and writing, where grammar features are explored in specific textual contexts.
Linking a grammar feature to a writing purpose and to specific texts supports the development of students’ metalinguistic understanding, helping them move from superficial to deeper understanding, for example from a ‘formulaic’ belief that adding adjectives will make writing more descriptive to an appreciation that careful choice of nouns might make adjectives redundant. Similarly, we can help build children’s repertoire of choices by showing how the same grammar feature works in a range of contexts, such as purposes for short single-clause sentences beyond ‘creating suspense and tension’ in narrative. Understanding the different effects which different structures can create is part of beginning to understand the writer’s craft and the possibilities open to a writer.
Learning objectives that drive a lesson or longer unit of work are important for helping students make meaningful connections between grammar and writing and strengthening their understanding of how a text works for the reader. In these examples relating to narrative, the writing purpose is stated first, followed by the relevant grammar focus:
|LEARNING FOCUS FOR WRITING||GRAMMAR FOCUS WHICH SUPPORTS THAT LEARNING|
|Creating descriptions which help readers to infer character||through verbs that show what characters do|
|Establishing a clear picture of a setting||through prepositional phrases|
|Drawing attention to an important moment in a plot||through subject-verb inversion|
|Linking events in a narrative||through co-ordinated clauses|
Choosing a grammar focus
There will be many opportunities to revisit, consolidate and build on the grammar specified in the National Curriculum Vocabulary and Grammar Appendix. You might choose a grammar focus because:
- it is key to understanding how a text works for the reader
- it shows writers how to achieve a specific effect or master a specific skill in a specific genre
- it meets the specific learning needs of a writer
This means developing the capacity to look at texts and notice how the grammar is working; and looking at children’s writing and noticing what they need.
Sample learning objectives and text examples
These resources are intended as support for making meaningful connections between grammar and writing in specific contexts; they are not definitive lists and are not organised in any order of progression in skills or by year group. The annotation of text examples and commentary observations are designed to support teachers’ grammar subject knowledge.