Write aloud (say it – write it) -- whole lesson activity

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The aim of this lesson is to encourage children to practise saying out loud what they are going to write before they write it down.

Lesson Plan

Objective: to explore how language and talk can be used to support writing

1. Lesson starter/warm up (whole class)

Play babble gabble or word tennis – retelling a traditional tale

2. Lesson introduction (whole class)

Tell the children you have found a box/envelope/folder etc and inside there were sheets of paper with writing in invisible ink. At first you could not read the writing but as you looked you realised you could read it.

Set up the activity by linking it to previous work that you have done. Make sure that it is something that the children can do orally. Model the activity by showing how you can read invisible writing. For example, if you have been working on a traditional story you could introduce a letter from Goldilocks to the three bears. Show the envelope and get out a folded piece of blank paper and then say that it is written in invisible ink, but that if you think really hard you can read it. You then invent and read out a short letter as Goldilocks would have written it.

3. Main activity (group & independent work)

The children break into pairs to try out their own invisible letters on each other. After reading them out to each other, each child sits down to write over the invisible words and produce a final written letter. The children will be asked to do this in pairs with one child reading their invisible letter to the other and then swapping over. The children need to be made aware that after reading the invisible letter to each other they will have to go over the invisible writing i.e. they will have to write the letter. This should prevent them from ‘reading’ out too much. Each child should produce a written piece. Whilst the children will be working as pairs to read out their letters to each other, each child’s final letter should be different from their partner’s.

Use snowballing or rainbowing technique to organise children into groups to share their ideas.

4. Plenary (whole class)

Use the following questions to encourage thinking about the learning:

How did you get your ideas?

What things could help you to do this better?

What made the activity easy or difficult, is there a better way to do it?

What effect did talking the letter through before writing it have

Some examples of the children’s letters could then be shared and commented on.



Reflective prompts: You need to talk about how you have to think hard about what the letter says. You might want to suggest what kinds of things you are thinking about e.g. musing to yourself “Now how would a letter from Goldilocks to the three bears start? Ah yes that’s what it says, it says “Dear Father Bear” etc. You would need to remind the children that they are reading out the words someone else has written - as if they are Goldilocks or Noah giving instructions to build an ark etc. You might model getting stuck and re-reading your last sentence. During the paired work the children should be left to work together, but you might suggest before they split into pairs that they think about what they have to do and tell that to each other first. Whilst they are writing you might go round and ask “How is it going?” “What have you still got to do?”

Other ideas include:

  • instructions for building Noah’s Ark;
  • an explanation of where to find the treasure;
  • a report of a magical animal…

You can choose anything that fits in with the work you have been doing.