slow writing

Slow Writing

Each day I sit and do some research on how to teach English.  I am a member of a few websites where teachers post and discuss current issues so I can keep up with current trends in schools.  Slow writing is often mentioned, what is it?

Phew!  I already use “slow writing” (or a similar technique) and have for many years.  It’s a very sensible support for reluctant writers. Slow writing is when you specifically tell a child what you want to see in their creative writing. 

For example, this illustrates how slow writing can be used in KS2:

  • Your first sentence must starting with an ing
  • Your second sentence must contain only three words.
  • Your third sentence must contain a semi-colon
  • Your fourth sentence must be a rhetorical question
  • Your fifth sentence will start with an adverb

My format tends to be something like this:



SHAMPOO: Use 2 examples

Colour: use 2 sentences

Tension: use 2 sentences











Arriving, Grasping, Carefully

Rasping, Grasping, Eventually

Suddenly, Terrified, Panicking





Use ALL level 1 and 2:

? question mark

! exclamation mark

, comma

“ “ speech marks

… ellipses

‘ apostrophe

Use 2 lots of level 3:

( ) brackets

: colon and ; semi colon

–       Dash or hyphen


This template was made for a story I teach called the Citadel (available from Exam papers Plus

When teaching children creative writing they need to be “tethered “ to good writing practice and this is a great way of doing it – and it changes habits!

Does slow writing work?  Yes- I think it can make a big difference.  Some children freeze at the thought of creative writing – or write very bland stories.  Slow writing (as the name suggests) slows down the thought process and writing – it tells a child WHAT and HOW to write.  If this can become a habit, then it makes the writing process much more enjoyable and the writing is improved.  I have to say I’m a big fan of slow writing.

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Anne Nadel

Anne Nadel

I completed a Master’s Degree in Teaching (MTEACH) in 2011 at the Institute of Education where I also undertook my PGCE. My dissertation research focused on disengaged boys and creative writing, mainly based in Key stage 2.

I’m very interested in engaging reluctant or disengaged writers and showing them how to be successful at writing through the different methods I have studied over the years.

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