Storycraft

How to teach narrative writing

By: Martin Griffin , Jon Mayhew


£16.99

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Ebook


Size: 222 x 182mm

Pages : 232

ISBN : 9781785834028

Format: Paperback

Published: October 2019


Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew’s Storycraft: How to teach narrative writing is an inspiring and practical resource to support secondary school teachers in developing their students’ creative writing.

This book is not a style manual. Authors Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew think there are plenty of those about. Instead, it picks apart the craft of narrative writing and equips teachers with activities designed to help their students overcome the difficulties they experience when tasked with creating something from nothing.

Written by two fiction writers and English teachers with over forty years’ combined experience in education, Storycraft packs in expert guidance relating to idea generation and the nature of story and provides off-the-peg writing prompts that teachers can immediately adopt and adapt in the classroom.

The book breaks down the simple components that must be in place for a narrative to work – the crafting of character, setting, shape and structure – and shares fifty-one stimulating activities that will get students writing narratives regularly, more creatively and with greater confidence.

Martin and Jon also include helpful advice in a chapter dedicated to the process of editing in which they provide activities designed to help students diagnose and improve misfiring narratives, and they close the book with invaluable tips for GCSE exam preparation written directly for students and with an impending creative writing exam in mind.

Suitable for English teachers of students aged eleven to eighteen.


Picture for author Martin Griffin

Martin Griffin

Martin Griffin has 20 years’ experience teaching post-16 students, and has been a head of faculty, assistant head teacher and deputy head teacher. He was the director of sixth form at The Blue Coat School and now works with schools and colleges to design and implement character development and mindset programmes.


@fletchermoss

www.storycraftbook.com

www.martingriffinbooks.com


Picture for author Jon Mayhew

Jon Mayhew

Having worked as an English and special educational needs teacher for twenty-five years, Jon Mayhew is now in demand on the school event circuit ' delivering writing workshops to students from Key Stage 2 to sixth form. He is also a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow, helping students to improve their academic writing at Chester University. Jon is the author of the Monster Odyssey series and the multi-award-winning Mortlock.

www.Jonmayhew.co.uk


Reviews

  1. Storycraft is full of tried and tested writing strategies that are classroom-ready, accessible and engaging. Martin and Jon's unique gifts are born out of their experience both as teachers and published writers. Their writing tips carry weight as they are proven to work both in the classroom and in the publishing world. Here at Shrewsbury School we have used Storycraft to inspire writing in English lessons, creative writing workshops and adult writing groups, and the activities have inspired real creativity and quality every time. One teacher commented, -˜I used the Storycraft resources with my third form on some narrative writing this week, and it was the best collective submission I've ever had from them.' Teachers have used activities and prompts in classroom activities, and library staff have used them in adult writing groups. Each time we have been surprised by the creativity they inspired -“ so, genuinely, thank you!
  2. The Storycraft sessions have-¯captivated students and the resources have enabled us to model original and creative approaches to the planning, editing and execution of creative writing, which has certainly had a positive impact on students' work. For example, the book's -˜Person, Place, Problem' strategy is something we have embraced and rolled out across all key stages as our go-to method to enable students to write innovative narratives. This has had a demonstrable impact on the quality of students' creative writing, particularly those who felt the least confident. Our school's performance on the creative writing section of the GCSE paper has improved significantly and our students regularly outperform students from similar centres on this task. I certainly believe the Storycraft resources have made a significant contribution to this.-¯We feel that the book has represented excellent value for money and we view it as a worthwhile investment in our students -“ seeing them motivated to try the creative approaches outlined in Storycraft, and to enjoy success as a result, has been really inspiring.
  3. Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew's "Storycraft: How to Teach Narrative Writing" is an inspiring and practical resource to support secondary school teachers in developing their students creative writing.

    Not a style manual, "Storycraft" deftly picks apart the craft of narrative writing and equips teachers with activities designed to help their students overcome the difficulties they experience when tasked with creating something from nothing.

    "Storycraft" also packs in expert guidance relating to idea generation and the nature of story and provides off-the-peg writing prompts that teachers can immediately adopt and adapt in the classroom. It continues by breaking down the simple components that must be in place for a narrative to work the crafting of character, setting, shape and structure and shares fifty-one stimulating activities that will get students writing narratives regularly, more creatively and with greater confidence.

    "Storycraft" also include helpful advice in a chapter dedicated to the process of editing in which they provide activities designed to help students diagnose and improve misfiring narratives, and they close the book with invaluable tips for GCSE exam preparation written directly for students and with an impending creative writing exam in mind.

    Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook, "Storycraft: How to Teach Narrative Writing" is especially designed for English teachers of students aged eleven to eighteen. While very highly recommended for school district in-service training programs, "Storycraft" should be a part of every college and university library Teacher Education instructional reference collection. -‹
  4. Storycraft addresses a key issue facing teachers at all levels: how to encourage and motivate students to enjoy writing with confidence and as regularly as possible. The authors, Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew, who are both masters of the craft of -˜writing to enthuse the reader', share a range of techniques that will stimulate learners of all ages to enjoy writing.-‹

    The layout of the book is extremely beneficial in guiding the reader through a wide range of ideas on how to engage with activities in order to integrate good characters, settings and structures into their narratives. The broad discussion and wide range of activities will be of particular interest to those teachers of English at key stages 2, 3 and 4, who are open to criticism for not providing their students with enough opportunities for extended writing or sufficient challenge to develop their literacy skills. -‹

    Readers will find the thirty-one elevator pitches to feed creativity really thought-provoking in terms of lesson ideas and planning. Furthermore, the sections focusing on promoting skills in editing, raising awareness of a range of tactics for exam preparation and additional reading to extend practice will be useful too for many teachers. -‹

    Martin and Jon are to be congratulated on producing such a book. -‹
  5. As teachers we need to stay in touch with our professional creativity and imagination, and what Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew manage to do in Storycraft is flesh out the how and the why.

    I love this book and the potential rewards and benefits it offers to adults working with children and young people. It launches itself from the positive standpoint that we are all writers and then, rather than simply offering loads of activities, provides the road maps that will enable teachers to support their students with the navigation and development of their own creative and imaginative agency. I can't recommend it highly enough!
  6. Martin Griffin and Jon Mayhew's Storycraft is an excellent addition to the texts on teaching creative and narrative writing. Martin and Jon have evidently combined their extensive knowledge and many years of classroom experience with their expertise as hugely successful authors themselves, and the result is a book that is accessible, considered and, most importantly, interesting.

    It is obvious they have thought about this text from all perspectives; they understand what needs to be taught. They understand the needs of the person who is doing the teaching -“ highlighting issues such as marking and resource creation -“ and they also have a good perception of those that are being taught. I particularly appreciate the -˜Good for tackling' principles and the authors' solutions to pupils' typical comments, such as: -˜I don't have any ideas. They're not original.' As teachers we've all heard such comments, and it is so useful to pick up some ideas as to how to respond and bring out the best in students.

    The exercises too are inspirational and engaging. They are not overcomplicated and have a realistic expectation of the outcome, because obviously in most classes there exists a wide range of capabilities. It is also reassuring to have the narrative supported by the writers' own experiences, giving the sense that you are almost in the room with them having a chat about how to teach narrative writing.



    An all-round great resource for any educator teaching creative writing.

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