How Do You Prepare For NAPLAN – Part 3 -Writing

How Do you prepare for NAPLAN?

The Naplan writing test is for 40 minutes and the writing prompt will either be persuasive or narrative.   Both styles of writing are marked to a rubric thus, if your child does not follow the rubric no matter how creative their answer they will be marked down.  This is where the books and the NAPLAN website come in so you as a parent can see what the system wants.  This is why schools practice.   Hit the link here to see the marking guide for persuasive writing here. Get the NAPLAN rubric used to assess writing here.

Writing takes lots of practice and to gain the practice children need to be able to make marks from the early years onwards. Having crayons and paper around from their earliest moments helps children to first make marks – that then leads to emergent writing, which leads into their own recounts and stories.

Writing should be fun and not a chore. Mr. O is a great oral story-teller.  He tells the most wonderful stories from his head-however, when asked to write them down he has a blind panic and tells me he has nothing to write,  Mr. J on the other hand is not so great orally, however, has great writing skills.  Whatever stage your child is at take it from that point and work from there.

As adults we all write for a reason.  A shopping list, birthday card or report for work. Kids need a reason too.  Writing can be really hard for some, especially if they also have other issues such as fine motor skills or vision difficulty for example.  Children need to see meaning in what they are doing, or else, they just don’t write. Writing needs to be of interest and at times, there might have to be some coaxing involved.

Here are 5 reasons to write at home.


There are plenty of times that the kids ask me things and I am either too busy or I don’t know the answer.  We have a white board that the kids write questions on so we can discover the answers later on.  I have found this board to be a great resource as it is a place to construct questions of different sorts and a place the kids stand and think.  We all need to have thinking time in order to write.  The very act that they want to write on the board means they have had a thought that they want to take further.


Christmas list
Birthday invites
Holiday needs
School needs
Places to go
What to do on holiday
Wish list
My top 5 – We have these lists going throughout the year.  My top 5 books, top 5 games to play etc




Story writing
Recount writing
Journal writing
Comic books
Adding words to pictures from magazines, own stories or own pictures.

once upon a slime - Andy Griffiths

The Andy Griffith book – Once Upon a Slime is a great read to inspire kids to write.  There are 41 great ideas kids will love. Andy Griffiths includes pictures of his own childhood writing, which I think is a great thought to inspire budding writers. To see a published author’s childhood marks is an amazing touch. We have used this book a lot to inspire quick, fun writing.

A good start for all creative writing should be because you want to and it should be about subjects that entertain you.  There are only so many story starters about a lost key or pictures of a rocket to the moon to write about that is fair to inflict on children before they are turned off writing for life.  Andy griffith as always is completely endearing to children and their way of thinking.




The Persuasion Game
Persuasive writing could be a prompt for NAPLAN.  The ability to form an argument is obviously a good skill in life and it should be taught orally first.  Children need to first form a good argument in their heads and be able to discuss their opinion before they can write it down properly!

Forming arguments of your own means more to a child before they start an argument for or against a pet they don’t own, for example.  At home you could put persuasion on the agenda by asking your child’s opinion when they ask for a snack or a toy.  Recently, whilst shopping with Mr. O for a birthday present – he spotted the packets of mini soldiers that are his favourite. He just had to have another packet even though we have a whole box already!  I asked Mr O to think about how he could persuade me to buy the soldiers and he had the time it took to choose the present and a quick look around. He did get the soldiers as he formed an argument around battles and there was another unit needed for the fight against dragons!

Using their own world to form arguments, enables a feeling of ownership to the problem and children will come up with an argument to fit the cause more readily.

At home we play the persuasion game. There are 20 cards all with a statement to agree, disagree or make a stand . Click on the link for your free copy with instructions.  The premise of the game is to lay out the facts of your argument and persuade your partner or group to take on board your point of view.   Whether or not they agree with you or not doesn’t matter. What matters is, is your argument plausible?  We came up with the statements together. By including the kids in the discussion about topics has far more meaning than just a bunch of statements about should I wear a hat in the playground and is a dog a good pet?   Start with our cards that are topical and maybe make up some of your own about issues your kids want to get passionate about.

One of our cards says BROCCOLI IS AWESOME .  That is my contribution as the kids think it is truly awful that I put broccoli on my pizza!   Click here for a link from the Scholastic blog on powerful words to include in your argument.PowerfulWords – Scholastic

We have to change our view of education to one of the long game.  Education is a journey and not a destination- That was Mary Harris- Jones not me!

This post is in a series of posts.  Get the other parts here!

Part 1 - How do you prepare for NAPLAN- PART 1 - Reading

How Do You Prepare For NAPLAN? Part 1 – Reading

Punctuation Saves Lives

How Do You Prepare For NAPLAN? Part 2 – Language Conventions

Happy learning across the years xx

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Books that encourage conversation with your kids

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