Lesson video

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I'm Mrs. Crompton.

Welcome to today's English lesson.

Our focus today is narrative writing and in particular, what makes an effective ending.

You'll need a pen and paper, as well as all of the writing pieces that you have done in the last two sessions.

Take a moment to make sure you have cleared any distractions away and have everything you need to hand.

So welcome back, everyone for our final writing session and let's just have a quick reminder of our journey and what we've been doing.

We have our task, and we're going to be looking at this stimulus image and thinking about a dangerous situation with that as our springboard.

We know what our success criteria are and we've unpicked various aspects of this during the last few sessions.

And today, our focus is on the final aspect of the climax or the conclusion, depending on how you have chosen to write your narrative.

So this is what we're going to be looking at today in our work.

So the first thing we're going to do is again, a little bit of note taking.

We're going to separate out our note taking from our creative work and the title that I would like you to write today is effective endings: things to consider.

A reminder about what good notes should contain is there for you on the screen and then also the reminder that I will be asking you to prioritise your learning points at the end of various slides so that we can bring that into our own work and make those notes really productive and active pieces.

Okay, so what makes an effective ending? We've got a couple of ideas here about different ways that you can end a narrative.

And again, this is a selection.

I'm not saying that this is the only way that you can end a narrative but it's a starting point.

Things that you can start playing around with in your own work.

So the most traditional thing that a lot of readers like is a logical resolution.

All strands of the story come together and everything makes sense.

So the plots line fits a nice, neat resolution.

Another thing to consider about your ending is is it going to result in a moment of change? So the action culminates in a change of situation for the character or the characters and that could be a physical change or some sort of mental change.

They could have moved on in their thinking.

So that could be another way in which you want to end your narrative.

Does your narrative need to provide a sense of justice at the end? There could be that need for the reader to feel that the right outcome has been achieved and therefore, we've got this moral dimension introduced to our work.

Or does it perhaps deliver a sense of the inevitable? The reader knew that this outcome was the most likely.

We've got the moral dimension again but it might not be the result that you want.

And then the final idea for us to consider is this idea of it delivering some sort of message or expanding the scope within the conclusion and this is where we use that phrase big picture and the four conflicts that we be been using throughout our learning.

So it going to be something at the end where your narrator or your character even delivers this bigger picture message that you want your reader to go away with? So what I would like us to do is to have a look, in particular at the end of our text, and if you remember, it's quite a short ending.

And here I'm going to give you the control to just have a look at the ending and what I would like you to come back to me with are some ideas about what choices O'Brian made in this conclusion, thinking about the different ending scenarios we've looked at.

So which one of those best matches the choice that O'Brian made and how did it make you feel as a reader? Because I think those are the two things to consider.

How do you want to end your narrative? And how you want to end it should be governed by the effect that you want to have on your reader.

What is that final feeling, sensation, message, mood that you want to leave your reader with? So we're going to use Samphire as our stimulus.

See if you can answer those two questions.

What choices has he made? How did it make the reader feel? And you are the reader, so we will hear what you've got to say.

Welcome back.

So the ending of Samphire.

She turned her dying face to the ground, and there were her feet marching on the path; one, the other; one, the other, down, down, down.

Did you have anything like this on your list? I felt like this ending was one of those where it gives a sense of the inevitable.

It's not the sort of conclusion, the judgement that I felt that needed to happen.

If there was going to be justice at the end of this narrative, Molly would get away from this situation, not necessarily by pushing Lacey over the cliff but having some sort of power at the end.

And the situation hasn't altered for Molly.

Will it alter for the man, Lacey? Sadly, I feel that he's not going to change.

He's convincing himself already that it never really happened.

And in terms of big picture ideas, that wider scope, we've got a narrative here that's showing the conflict between one individual and another.

It could be also, and we don't know this, that there are other factors.

This could be a social comment about the role of women that there are very few options for ladies like Molly at that particular time of writing, and the exact dates of this short story, we haven't discussed really, but we're talking about 1940s, 1930s, that sort of time period.

Maybe Molly didn't have many options and so she has to accept the inevitable.

So we've got those ideas in the background.

That might be something that you noticed.

And you think about what it is that you want your reader to take away with them.

When O'Brian wrote this text, he will have known that we will have felt quite flat at the end.

Maybe a little frustrated.

Maybe a little bit, I don't know, maybe a little bit down ourselves thinking about a character like Molly who can never get away from this.

Or maybe even quite invigorated to think this cannot continue to happen.

That there are various feelings that you might be wanting to generate.

Which one of those does Samphire generate for you? Okay, interesting task now.

I hope you're going to enjoy doing this.

I'm going to give you 10 minutes to consider what alterations you would need to make to recast this conclusion and make the outcome positive for Molly.

So think about the type of conclusion, how are you going to get there? So we've just talked about the fact that it was the inevitable there.

Can we change that? Can we select something else from our menu of possible endings? I want you to think about the message, or the moral, or the effect that you want to have on your reader.

And the other thing I would say is it's just a 10-minutes task, so make use of the existing text and try adjusting words and phrases.

That's quite an interesting activity, just to recast the words to alter the meaning.

And you have 10 minutes to experiment now and play with the text we've already got.

I'm going to give you the text to look at and an opportunity for you to work with that.

Pause as you wish to consider how you can change Molly's situation for me.

Have a look at your notes before you start.

Think about which techniques are going to be best to do that.

So we've got all of that and this is a good point to pause and do that.

And then, you have your text to work with.

So control is over to you.

Restart whenever you are ready and I will be waiting for you.

Welcome back, everyone.

So has Molly left him behind? Does she walk away from him? What did you do? Where did her feet walk to? Did we have that positive outcome? I hope so and I think it's quite an interesting activity to do.

Sometimes it's useful to do with your own work to try it out and see different choices will do to the tone and will do to the impact and maybe alter your message as you go along.

And that's building up to, but before we start to look at our own ending, I want you to review all of the writing that you have done so far.

So our next activity for the next 10 minutes is to reread all of the writing you have completed this week and look at this alongside your plan and our learning from today about endings.

So what you're going to do is to review, edit, tweak if needs be.

We did a little bit of that at the end of session four.

Alter it again now that you've seen some new ideas.

And then start to think about the way you want to end your piece.

What type of ending and impact will you choose? I'm going to give you an opportunity to review all of our learning slides that we've had, all of our prompt slides.

Control is over to you.

Work your way through and I will be waiting for you with a final task setup.

Welcome back.

So here we are, we're at the ending.

So your task now is to use the next 10 minutes-ish to write this ending.

Remember to follow your plan.

You've spent some time planning, editing, tweaking, you should be really ready for this and you're really wanting to think about the impact on your reader.

Remember also to consider the precision of your choices, of vocabulary, sentences and punctuation.

So this is bringing it all together.

And just remember, the endings don't have to be very long.

Look at how concise Patrick O'Brian's ending was and just how powerful that was.

So think about the crafting, think about the impact more than anything else.

And once you're happy with your ending, then please do rejoin me.

Welcome back, so we have a piece of writing.

You have spent the last three sessions building up to this completed response and what we need to do now is just to do that final review and polish.

And this is really difficult sometimes, particularly if you're working in timed condition and you're working to a silent environment, why you feel like you can't do this but we don't have to do that today.

So I want you to read your work out loud to yourself.

See how it sounds, see how it makes you feel.

There's still opportunity to make tweaks and adjustments.

And what I've tried to do within our writing process is to break things down and give you editing points where you're reviewing and constantly recasting your own work and even if you are working at timed condition, do try and do that as part of your natural process.

Take a little pause, don't just keep your head down but have a little look at what you've just written.

Think of how you've connected one paragraph to the next.

All of these skills are really important to make you a more cohesive writer because ultimately, it's the structure of your piece and the impact it has on the reader that is going to make it a successful piece of writing.

So we're going to complete your final review.

I want you to read it out loud, be proud.

If you've got family members around, maybe read it to them.

See what they think.

And then assess yourself for one last time against our success criteria.

Welcome back again.

So to finish the learning for today, you have got your usual recap quiz and in fact, it's to finish your learning for the week.

So there'll be a few questions that go from each of the lessons that we've experienced this week together.

Thank you for your focus today.

All that remains for me to say is enjoy the rest of your learning and I will see you next week.