The Tao of Pooh To know the Way, We go the Way; We do the Way The way we do The things we do. It’s all there in front of you, But if you try too hard to see it, You’ll become Confused. The T-ow! (Way) of Functional Grammar I am me, And you are you, As you can see; But when you do The things that you can do, You will find the Way, And the Way will follow you. The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet by B. Hoff, page 170
How can I help my students write more descriptive narratives? Narrative Generic structure Grammatical choices Noun groups Adjectives Adjectival phrases
“What we say or write is always a matter of exercising … choices, designing our texts with some purpose in mind.” • David Butt et al, Using Functional Grammar: An Explorer’sGuide,1995, page 5 • Text • Purpose • Choices
Text type: Narrative Purpose: To tell a story as a as a means of making sense of events and happenings in the world Choices: Writing and shaping
Text: When writing and shaping students: - develop simple plots, character descriptions and settings - develop real or imagined settings by using some elaboration to describe time and place in which the story is set Level 3 Elaborations Draft Oct 05
Purpose: to entertain or amuse; to inform or instruct; to describe or create; to emotionally move the reader
Choices: Using noun groups with more than one adjective or adjectival phrase “…we need grammatical metalanguage to explore…texts.” David Butt et al, Using Functional Grammar: An Explorer’sGuide,1995, page 22 B. Derewianka, A Grammar Companion for Primary Teachers,1998, page 10 “It was interesting to watch the students recognise that if a pattern was used for every noun, the writing became slow-moving and predictable. It followed, then, that writers needed to be selective about how they built up their nominal groups, just as they needed to select their nominal groups with care.” M. Williams, In the past …I was clueless. Writing scary stories in the middle school. Pen 136, PETA, page 5
Observational Writing Select a location Observe and write We want to :Use our senses Show not just tell Artists Tools Paintbrush Materials Canvas Colour Choose and mix Writers Tools Pencil Materials Paper Words Choose and mix To create a vivid image or picture in the reader’s mind
Sharing ideas What is the same about the jobs these words are doing? Who or what? Naming things such as sights, sounds, smells, feelings and taste – Nouns or things (participants)
Determiners Articles Thing Noun Naming word Numerative Describers (Epithets) Th oo a low flat swishing see through wind The only little round wet clear puddle The group of tiny oval smooth green leaves The short fluffy rainbow bird The bunch of tall skinny frizzy teachers The many elliptical green leaves “Multiple describers, classifiers and qualifiers makes reading text so difficult.” Workshop Two - Nominal Groups, Greenbank State School; Dr Beryl Exley, 7/2/07
Noun groups - Adjectival phrases The large tall rectangular piece of bark laid on the ground. The lonely, slim person with the Greenbank uniform was sitting down.
“ … we are viewing grammar as a resource – an array of possibilities from which we can choose …” as well as a way of “…extending a learner’s potential to make and produce meaning.” B. Derewianka, A Grammar Companion for Primary Teachers,1998, page 2 “… grammar is a loaded weapon and you’d better handle it gingerly while you’re getting the knack.” David Butt et al, Using Functional Grammar: an Explorer’s Guide,1995, page 7.