Reviews

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NATE regularly reviews a wide range of publications. To view a particular selection of titles please choose a category from the list below.

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Some of these titles are in the NATE Bookshop others can be purchased through our Waterstones link.

 

Countdown to Creative Writing - Step by step approach to writing techniques for 7-12 years

Steve Bowkett
Published 2009
ISBN# 9780415477529
Publisher - David Fulton
Price at time of review - £23.99

We all know the benefits of creative writing – not just ‘doing’ creative writing or providing opportunity to write creatively, but enabling, facilitating and encouraging revelry and joy in the writing process. When interviewing pupils about writing, they always say they enjoy being given the space to write, but this in turn generates problems. How do you begin to generate ideas? Or structure the creative process, which should be liberating, not trapped in rules or on lined paper?

Countdown to Creative Writing is a comprehensive and flexible resource that can be used in a multitude ways and addresses such issues; indeed it generates a feeling of creativity just looking through it! It comprises 60 stand-alone modules, which counter-intuitively begin at no 60 (Getting started) and ends with no 1 (In the mood for writing). This automatically gets you thinking! Modules 60 to 15 cover aspects to do with the writing process, such as style, planning and structure, and genre. The remaining modules are the build up to ‘blast off’ – a module which supports pupils with creating the right mood for writing.

The modules are cohesive and are underpinned by key principles – creative and critical thinking – which you need to write well. Despite the cohesion, modules can be used individually or grouped in short topics, so this is definitely not a resource to begin at module 60 and work through until you reach the bitter end. No, this resource definitely fits the personalised learning agenda where you match the modules to pupil need. And to support the teacher there is a flow chart which maps the thinking that a pupil might do in preparation for writing. Aligned to this flow chart are the modules which might be useful at each point in the writer’s journey. So when a pupil says ‘I am stuck’ you can work together to unlock the barrier. And pupil involvement is key to the AfL agenda.

Countdown to Creative Writing is really that – a countdown. A great resource which should be in every teacher’s repertoire.

Buy now via the NATE Bookshop

Helen Bulbeck, 23/06/2009

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