On a cold winter’s night in Somalia on the eastern coast of Africa the dugong became completely lost. He was a grey dugong with big brown eyes and whiskers. He set out on a long swim to India but the dugong ran into a big black sea snake. The dugong did not know where he was going and so he swam slowly to Western Australia where the Indian Ocean was rough and wavy. It was summer and day time there and the dugong was home at last.
by Oliver (aged 9)
One of the problems new young writers experience is commencing each sentence with the subject. In this example Oliver was encouraged to steer away from beginning each sentence with “The dugong”. You may also notice that the telling of the story is a little more complex to the examples of younger writers. A format we teach young writers is:
- First sentence – When and where to set the time and place
- Second sentence – Who: describe the subject of the story
- Third & Fourth sentence – what happened & what happened
- Fifth sentence – Close the circle by echoing something that happened in the first sentence
I think you will agree that young Oliver is grasping the concept of the format.