Alongside a number of my excellent history colleagues, @MrsBallAP, @MrPattisonTeach and @HistoryKSS, I’ve been embedding The Writing Revolution by Hochman and Wexler into my practice this last 6 months.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at sentence level work, such as using fragments, subordinating conjunctions, appositives and the fantastic Because, But and So (How To below), but less so on extended writing until this summer.

The first foray into TWRs extended writing is through planning, using the Single Paragraph Outline (SPO). An SPO provides students with a road map they can follow to plan the beginning, middle and end of a unified coherent paragraph.

It is a really generic simple method that can be accompanied by work on individual parts, Topic Sentences (I call them signpost) and Concluding Sentences (Link). You could ask students to categorise a number of sentences and fragments into TS, CS and Supporting Details and play ‘Improve a boring sentence’

To really make the best of the use of these SPOs, I recently combined them with my favourite I, We, You template (Blog here) as part of the brilliant backwards facing modelling technique. It allowed me to model, guide practice and collaboratively plan with Y11 and gave them to chance to plan out their writing before moving to independent practice.

What’s next?

I want to try the following using SPO’s:

  • Turning paragraphs into SPO’s to practice breaking down writing into key parts
  • Single Paragraph Summaries, to obviously summarise a text
  • More work on strong Topic Sentences, really honing in on this and utilising some of the excellent work in Teaching History on improving extended historical writing.

If you are interested in more ways to use the Single Paragraph Outline, I would speak to Tom (@MrPattisonTeach) and take a look at the below essay planning document which he has created, to utilise this technique into the Multi Paragraph Outline. This is a quite wonderful method of targeted revision and his worked example is excellent scaffolding.