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Do children still write about what they did at the weekend?

(28 Posts)
letsgomaths Fri 19-Jul-19 07:27:18

I remember this being a typical Monday task at primary school, and I'm guessing it still is. If so, what things have children written about doing at the weekend that made you smile?

As a child, I was curious about the mechanics of school tasks such as this. I remember this being an unstructured activity: we'd be given the task on a Monday morning in year 6, but not given any other instructions. Would this have been a way of assessing our free writing, or a way of easing us into the week? I used to write about things that mattered to me: what Lego I played with, describing something I saw on TV in a lot of detail, and I used to quote things people said. I often didn't say anything about where we went, what family activities we did, which is what I guess I was really supposed to write about!

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timeandtimeagain42 Fri 19-Jul-19 07:35:00

We don't really ever do this, in a school where many children life in very very difficult family situations asking them to write about their weekend would be a bad way to start the week sad
Also, when I've done it in other classes it was never a great activity. Lots of I played on my x-box and slept.

RubbingHimSourly Fri 19-Jul-19 07:44:31

This post brought back fond memories of my DD who ended up very red faced one parents evening when it was discovered she'd written that she had stayed in bed everything single weekend and holiday for an entire year. Complete with drawing ! The lazy madam had opted for the shortest sentence.........I think the teacher had been rather amused and left her to it. I still have the book somewhere. grin

letsgomaths Fri 19-Jul-19 07:54:54

@timeandtimeagain42 I did wonder later if the hidden purpose of this activity was so teachers might spot something untoward at home, not sure how important that was in the early 90s. I didn't realise that at the time though. Also we weren't asked to read these out, we just handed them in.

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pikapikachu Fri 19-Jul-19 09:22:15

It was called News in my day.

Ds1 (18) had to do this. One week he wrote "Mum did lots of stripping this weekend." together with a pic of me holding a long tube shaped object.

I was prepping a room for the plasterer by stripping wallpaper. blush

1066vegan Sat 20-Jul-19 23:03:32

I remember doing this every Monday at primary school way back in the 70s. The cynic in me thinks that it was just a cushy way for teachers to start the week because it was a lesson they didn't plan. I can't imagine being able to get away with it now.

LolaSmiles Sat 20-Jul-19 23:07:03

We don't get our secondary students to write about their lives out of school because it highlights the differences in experience.

If I wanted to do free writing then I would have some broad creative prompts and let their imaginations run wild.

echt Sun 21-Jul-19 05:02:52

God, I remember what we did on our holidays from the 60s. It was mortifying because I came from a low-income family who didn't have holidays, and no, the teacher didn't unpack it as we say these days to include other experiences.

Lazy lazy teaching, then and now.

funmummy48 Sun 21-Jul-19 05:05:08

I work in Primary School and we never do this. As a child, in the 70s, it was something my school did for years.

herculepoirot2 Sun 21-Jul-19 06:29:39

I’d never ask them to do this, because maybe the one child sitting there saying, “Got nothing to write”, actually just doesn’t want to write, “Dad went down the pub all afternoon, then came home and punched my mum.”

letsgomaths Sun 21-Jul-19 07:45:22

@pikapikachu I think my school called it "news and story" as well.

Reading the replies, in a way I'm surprised that children don't write about their home lives any more, because I remember doing it all the time at primary. Having said that, I also remember that once at primary school we did "holidays" as a topic: we gathered lots of statistics, were told to write about the journey there in as much detail as we could remember... but the one thing we did not write about was what we actually did on holiday! We did role plays about family members arguing over will it be a "relaxing holiday" or an "activity holiday", going to the travel agent to book it (I'd never heard of a travel agent). Not a word was said about costs - I had no idea that things like skiing and cruises were very expensive.

I suppose child protection has moved on a lot in the last thirty years, making this an impossible activity. At the age of nine or ten I was blissfully unaware that other children might have difficult lives at home, I thought that only happened in fiction.

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QueenofCBA Sun 21-Jul-19 11:01:48

We still do this in languages lessons, to practise spontaneity and the past tense.

Due to how shit some kids’ home lives can be I always make it very clear that I am not interested in the truth and usually start off with some outrageous obvious lies.
Most of my Year 7 girls own pet unicorns wink

MyNewBearTotoro Sun 21-Jul-19 11:07:52

We used to have to do this in the 90s. We also had to write holiday diaries - over the summer holidays we’d be given an exercise book and be expected to fill it with what we’d been up to EVERY DAY for the full 6 weeks and hand it in to our new teacher in September.

I really don’t know whether the teachers were just really nosy and wanted to know what we’d done or if they were that sadistic they wanted to ensure summer holidays were filled with homework and misery!

drspouse Sun 21-Jul-19 11:25:38

I had the opportunity to read some 1960s "what I did on holiday" narratives, they included "we stayed at my grandmother's house and went riding every day" and "we drove to Cornwall in my uncle's car and we all slept in the car when we stopped overnight". I think there was also "we stayed home and went down the park".

wanderings Sun 21-Jul-19 12:39:53

@QueenofCBA I was wondering about language lessons, when there's a lot of talking about yourself. We weren't actively encouraged to lie, but sometimes teachers would say "if you don't have a pet, make one up".

@MyNewBearTotoro Ah yes, holiday diaries, my mum was big on this, it turned holidays into a chore. I didn't mind doing it occasionally, or for big events, but every day! I remember a realisation at the age of 8 or 9 that school trips would ALWAYS be followed by having to write about them.

PancakeAndKeith Sun 21-Jul-19 12:43:23

I remember doing it as a child.
I particularly remember writing about the woman over the road falling down the stairs and breaking her neck!

It has stopped now for a number of reasons.

AlwaysColdHands Sun 21-Jul-19 12:44:32

My reception age child has been doing News in a book like this every Monday morning all year......when I saw it at parents evening it was mostly comprised of ‘I played at home’ or ‘I took my dog for a walk’. smile

drspouse Sun 21-Jul-19 12:53:20

I don't think my Reception aged child could even begin to know how to write that (though they do often draw a picture and tell an adult what to put under it).

PantsyMcPantsface Wed 24-Jul-19 07:44:41

Just had my kids books home and they have a free writing book they’ve often used for that purpose

DaveCoachesgavemetheclap Wed 24-Jul-19 07:59:39

I used to love writing News in the 70s and used to make lots of things up, mostly about Donny Osmond buying me big boxes of chocolates. I wouldn't do it now. It's bad enough when I occasionally ask the children (Y4) to tell me just one thing they have done at the weekend during registration and several children say 'nothing'.

NightmareLoon Wed 24-Jul-19 11:01:31

My DC have done this in KS1 but not after. I think they use it as a writing exercise!

wanderings Wed 24-Jul-19 18:05:15

Just thinking about this sort of first person writing in general, I remember I found it really hard, or even pointless, to describe things: as I had seen it, or imagined it, I knew what it looked like, why should I try and put it into words? I was fine with writing "this happened, then this happened, then this happened..."

I had a tutor who was always drilling me in writing "interesting" descriptions, but it might have made all the difference if he had said "read one of your favourite books, such as by Roald Dahl. Look at how he describes things, such as the Big Friendly Giant, so that you can see him in your own mind."

UpsyIggleDaisyPiggle Thu 25-Jul-19 03:28:47

I recall this as the most tedious part of primary school - so boring.

Lindy2 Thu 25-Jul-19 03:45:39

I remember writing endless accounts of the swimming lessons I did on Saturdays. Accompanied by the same drawn picture of me in the pool.
We didn't generally do that much at the weekend when I was a child. It's the only thing I actually remember writing at school - although I'm sure we must have done some other things.

DrMadelineMaxwell Thu 25-Jul-19 04:34:49

I used to have my class do this years ago.
Yes it was an easy start to the week but also an ideal way to see what their free writing was like and what they were applying that they had been learning about to improve their writing.

Sadly it really feels like theres no time to do it any more our timetables in ks2 are so packed.

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