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Mystory Planning

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3. Introduction

4. Discussing writing - ideas

5. Factsheet: What is planning your writing?

6. Factsheet: How do I plan my writing?

7. Factsheet: Using diagrams to plan writing

8. Worksheet: Ideas map template

9. Factsheet: Using lists to plan writing

10. Worksheet: Lists template

11. Factsheet: Using writing frames to plan writing

12. Worksheet: Writing frames template: achievement

13. Adult Learners' Week 2009 Winners' Stories

15. Curriculum references

16. Additional resources

My Story: Getting Started: Planning your writing


My Story is the BBC's biggest search for the most remarkable real-life stories in the UK. True life stories have the power to inspire and engage us like no others and have prompted some of the most successful books and films of all time. My Story is a storytelling and creative writing project: people will be asked to tell a true, personal story and send in, as text, to share with others. The best stories will be made into short films and shown on BBC One in summer 2010.

We want to encourage the widest possible audience to write and publish their own stories, particularly those with low literacy levels. To support practitioners and others who work with adults, we have created resources to use with learners.

The My Story: Getting Started resources are to support practitioners working with adults who are at the initial stages of their writing journey. These resources are focused on helping adults try out different methods for planning their writing, within the context of My Story. This pack contains classroom discussion ideas, factsheets about planning with examples and planning templates, further resource ideas and curriculum references.

Adult beginner writers often have a misunderstanding about the process of writing, believing that they have to write a perfect piece of writing right from the start (Grief et al., 2007). Learners at all levels should be encouraged to approach writing as a sequence of steps, with planning the organisation of the content as one of these.

There are many different methods that can be used for planning writing and learners should be encouraged to explore these to find out their preferred system. This resource contains examples of different planning methods, with handouts and templates that can be used with learners focusing on writing for My Story. Each handout comes with a case study example of how a learner might have planned their story. These are based on stories from Adult Learners' Week winners in 2009. Thank you to NIACE for giving us permission to use the stories in this way. Gerildine's story also features on pages 4 and 5 of the My Story magazine. You can order free copies by emailing

Discussing writing in the classroom can also be valuable to learners as it supports the learning and they find it helpful (ibid). This resource contains some suggested topics to initiate class discussions about planning methods.

You can find more printable resources on the partners area of the BBC raw website:


Grief, S., Meyer, B. and Burgess, A. (2007) Effective Teaching and Learning: Writing: Summary Report. London: NRDC.

Discussing planning writing: ideas

Here are some ideas for getting discussions going about planning writing:

* Write the phrase 'planning your writing' on a board. Ask students in a group, or pairs, to discuss what this means to them. Which words or phrases spring to mind? What examples of planning can they come up with? If it helps, get them to think about planning a different scenario, such as a holiday.

* Ask learners to write down a list of tools authors might need to plan their writing e.g. notebook, pens, pencils, sticky notes etc. Which tools have they ever used?

* Write some different scenarios on a board and ask learners in pairs to discuss how they might tackle such writing tasks.

o Sending a text to a friend

o Writing a letter to the bank

o Writing a birthday card

o Sending a postcard

* Hand out one, or different, Adult Learners' Week winners' stories to a group of learners (see p 13-14). In pairs, ask learners to imagine how the writer sat down and created their story. Where did they write their story? How did they remember what happened to them, did they use any prompts such as photographs or a diary? How did they remember all their ideas?

* Use the 'What's my learning style' quiz on pages 2 and 3 of the My Story magazine. Get learners to complete the quiz and then read through and discuss the different learning styles and planning methods suggested.

Factsheet: Why plan your writing?

When you want to start writing it's a good idea to start with a plan. A plan is really useful as it helps you structure your writing and capture any ideas you want to include in your story. Planning is a helpful tool, even when you write a short note you plan it by first thinking about it in your head.

Planning your writing is when you think about it in advance.

There are many benefits to planning your writing. It helps you to:

* Record your ideas

* Come up with new ideas

* Organise your thoughts

* Check that you have all the information you need

Can you think of other benefits?




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