We were working with a bright nine year old today: planning, writing and marking a story in preparation for future Eleven Plus examinations. The question of books and vocabulary arose.
"How does reading books help my story writing?"
In Eleven Plus terms writing a story means that work has to be set, planned and marked. The story has to be about an A4 page long.
A real book written by the child would have decorated front and rear covers, a thoughtful page layout, supporting illustrations and a carefully prepared script. This is a far cry from a story prepared for an examination. Yet if passing the Eleven Plus examination depended on the production of a book - just think of the lengths that Eleven Plus parents would go to:
Hiring published authors to help with story lines
Engaging illustrators to prepare drawings
Sourcing printers and binders.
It must be far more simple just to offer the pre Eleven Plus child a piece of paper and expect (or accept) a snippet of literature.