Seven Steps to Writing Success

Jen McVeity
Jen McVeity
Author x 20 books
Churchill Fellow
National Literacy
Creator - Seven Steps
Got to make the ‘O’ join up
Be creative!!!
How to Teach Writing
Without Writing a Word
Secret is Chunking
Ideas from Seven Steps
7 x simple techniques
-created by an author
100 x writing activities
- that take less than 10 minutes a day.
Step 1
Plan for Success
Story Graph
Story Graph
Action Activities
1. Chatterbox - Random Ideas generator
 2. Daily joke – story graph
 3. Pixar – 5 min shorts
 4. Film trailers – how will they end?
 5. Heroes + Villains + Problems = Plan
Action Activities
6. Quotes from authors on planning
Jackie French:
 ‘I wrote my first book down the dunny in the
backyard. It was the only peaceful place I
could daydream. Books need more
THINKING about than writing!’
Action Activities
7. Create a verbal story using kids as actors.
 8. Use cracked fairy tales as plays.
 9. Morning Show and Tell anecdotes – kids
tell stories to follow the graph.
 10. Tell myths and legends. Refer to graph.
11. Film ad – on your school
12. Extend
How will it all END?
Action Activities
 13.
Order three pictures and tell story
 14.
Draw pictures along graph - plan
 Picture
books – follow story graph
Story Graph
Action Activities
Secret is Chunking
Say ‘no’ to the Nerdy kid
Step 2
Sizzling Starts
First impressions count
Nigel, graph of story
15. Start with dialogue
‘Look out!’
‘Dare you to jump.’
Action Activities
16. Kids find THEIR favourite movie start.
17. Tell kids the story starts you ‘hate’ the
most. e.g. ‘Once-upon-a-time.’
18. Publish in school newsletter.
19. How authors write - quotes
Make everybody fall out of the plane first,
and then explain who they were and why
they were in the plane to begin with.
 (Nancy Ann Dibble )
20. Three word starts
– Anaconda
– Tattoo
– lounge suite
‘Darling’, she said as she lovingly traced
the anaconda tattoo on his chest, ‘I think we
need a new lounge suite.’
Seven Steps Surround Us
 Ads
 TV: Master Chef, Biggest Loser, The Voice
 Jokes
 Dinner table stories (or not!)
 Poetry
 Books
Suggest two weeks on every
DON’T go for the quick fix.
The Australian Curriculum:
English aims - students:
Appreciate, enjoy and use the English
language in all its variations and develop a
sense of its richness and power to evoke
feelings, convey information, form ideas,
facilitate interaction with others, entertain,
persuade and argue.
Education Minister 2011
We want our teachers to feel confident to
trial new approaches based on research,
 knowledge and evidence, and accept
possible failure, as part of this approach.
(The Hon. Martin Dixon, MP, Minister for
Education, November 2011)
Noise is Nouce!
Some Results
Thornlands: Over 25% of Year 5 students
scored off the scale.
Greenslopes: Huge difference between math
and lit scores now.
Casino HS: A two level rise in their literacy
Scotch College
Seven years later they are still using the
Highlights for me have been the wonderful
response to your Seven Steps approach and
the enthusiasm towards writing from both
the boys and the staff. I have been thrilled
with the results... (Scotch College)
My kids and I have been making story
graphs (using pictures instead of words)
from well known stories for the past week
now and they love it! We had some kids
not able to attend school last week because
we had so much rain and they even did their
own graphs at home!
 (Amanda Lindeman, P-3 teacher)
The Hard Part
Writing is not something you do with
a pen, it is something you do with
your brain. (Jen McVeity)
(How much writing have you done so
The Marking Rubrics (48 pts)
1 Audience (6 marks)
2 Text structure (4 marks)
3 Ideas (5 marks)
4 Persuasive devices (4 marks)
5 Vocabulary (5 marks)
6 Cohesion (4 marks)
7 Paragraphing (3 marks)
8 Sentence structure (6 marks)
9 Punctuation (5 marks)
10 Spelling (6 marks)
Keep Kids Creative
Writing is NOT spelling and grammar
Don’t worry about spelling until the end!
 (e.g. OUR speed writing today)
Beta (Conscious)
Alpha (Subconscious)
Alpha and Beta
Don’t walk around the room
The message is important
Jake Parker
Were has he gone his mother screamed
whilst shoving more chocolate in her
(Jake Parker Yr 9 Pyramid Hill)
It’s just me and the tree, this has to stop.
It’s lookin at me with it’s green leafy eyes.
It’s a showdown Just me and the tree.
Consistency rules!
Change can’t
 happen in a day.
But it can
 in a term.
Food Fight
4 Person + 10 Minutes = Recount
 It’s
a Food Fight.
 Game
On the same page
Wicked Grade 3’s
In a classroom
Use names of people in your group.
Rule 1 : Use Other People’s
1. Divide into groups FOUR
Person 1
You are in charge of the fruit and
– old squishy bananas
– old tomatoes
– grapes
Bananas squished into shoes/ grapes fired
with rulers across the room, etc, etc
Person 2
You are in charge of the hot food.
– spaghetti
– chili stew
What is the messiest place that food can go?
 e.g. bowl of spaghetti over the head.
Person 3
You are in charge of the sweets.
– e.g. bubblegum
– ice-cream
– Jelly
What is the messiest place that food can go?
 e.g. jelly in hair.
Person 4
Top and Tail.
i.e. Sizzling Start and Ending with impact.
Ready, set, write!
You have 2.5 minutes to write your part of
the story.
Remember write fast, fix spelling later.
Talk it up.
All done? Now arrange yourselves in order
and read your story to another group!
Seven Steps
Agenda: The Seven Steps
1. Plan for Success
2. Sizzling Starts
3. Tightening Tension
4. Dynamic Dialogue
5. Show, Don't Tell
6. Ban the Boring Bits
7. Exciting Endings
Special for EYES
20% OFF
$710 to $462
Homework (5 hours)
Watch TV - the ads – find planning
Watch a movie – find Sizzling Starts
Read a book – enjoy!
Secret is Chunking
Say ‘no’ to the Nerdy kid
Go Play
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