Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Talk for Writing - Magpie-ing


‘Good artists copy; great artists steal.’ Picasso

This is one of the key strategies that is part of the ethos of a writing classroom. We need to borrow and store words, phrases and ideas that other writers have used that we really like. We can then use them in our own writing. In a Brazilian context, there is no need to call the strategy to magpie given it is not a native bird here. It is the concept that counts; students will need to see collecting and usage of new words and phrases being modelled explicitly by teachers regularly across the curriculum.


  • Collect new words and phrases on the working wall. Have a picture of a magpie (or other animal that likes to steal - monkeys come) to mind -  in the collecting area. 
  • Students should be encouraged to add to the class collection.
  • Swag books. These are little books in which students record words, phrases and ideas that they like and then use at a later date.

Resources for Magpie Working Walls:


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