As many EYFS practitioners will know (and probably teachers in all key stages too) getting boys to write is a major challenge ! Down in Reception I try to find ways to encourage and develop boy’s interest in writing and mark making in their independent, child initiated and adult led learning. Pinching some ideas from wider reading and other EYFS practitioners & consultants (eg @abcdoes) I like to trial and assess new systems and ideas in my classroom. One idea that has worked particularly well is pirate writing.
This week in reception our learning has focused on and around Pirates, starting with an introduction and meet and greet with a toy pirate in our class, Pirate Pat. Pirate Pat then went on a little trip and sent us photographs of his voyage, until his ship was damaged and he went missing. As an adult led activity we focused on what might have happened to Pirate Pat and where we thought he was. We had lots of independent learning opportunities that encouraged mark making and writing too… Pirate style! Children had the opportunity to go on a sound hunt outdoors (with eye patches and telescopes), design and build their own ship with the construction outside, create a treasure map or make a missing poster to help look for Pirate Pat. I had boys choosing to write!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The children had to use their knowledge from letters and sounds to help with their labelling, even if it was just with their initial sound. The map making was a particular success with children commenting on their different marks, a real successful activity for the less confident writers. Boys have been coming and asking the TA and myself for more pirate paper to write on… Isn’t it wonderful what a soggy tea bag can do!
This lesson was also observed by my head and literacy coordinator who rated in outstanding! 🙂
Overall, this lesson made me happy for many different reasons. Well done boys!