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Talk for Writing

How we teach Talk for Writing

At Diseworth Primary School, we believe it is our job to help all children develop into thoughtful readers and creative writers. We use Talk for Writing in order to support our Children’s literacy skills through its interactive and multisensory teaching to enable all children from EYFS to Year 6 to learn to write a wide range of text types using various methods which include:

  • Listening to stories
  • Learning texts and stories
  • Story mapping and boxing up stories/texts
  • Collecting words and language strategies
  • Building knowledge of grammar in context

We started this approach in 2020 to further develop our teaching. Talk for Writing is an innovative approach to teaching writing developed by Pie Corbett. It uses high quality model texts to introduce the children to different story and text types which they learn off by heart and scrutinise with a writer’s critical eye.


Pupils learn the underlying structures and the process of planning story maps or text maps. They also learn about the key features of the different text types, creating interesting characters and settings and how to use a range of sentence types to create different effects including suspense or adventure.


The Method

Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence, independence and editing and improvement in writing.



All units start with ‘hook’ lesson which stimulates creativity and imagination of the pupils before they immerse themselves in the model text. This is where children learn a model text using actions and story maps. The key success for the children is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They explore the structure of the narrative and investigate the different characters, settings and events. As ‘Reading as a writer’ they begin to look closely at the language used and the effect this has on the reader. Pupils collect word ideas, sentence types and language tools collected by the children to use in their stories later.



During this phase the aspects of the model text are changed by the teacher and pupils, using their own ideas. The text is explored, whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure, focussing on the different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language.



This phrase is where pupils plan and write their own version of the story/text, based on the text type and model text they have been learning. They experiment with the ideas and begin to explore their own style of writing using ideas, sentence types and grammar in context ideas from the model text.