Discursive Writing on a Mountain

Pic: Oswaldo Martinez via Unsplash

Pic: Oswaldo Martinez via Unsplash

 

First steps towards a new style

Overnight, A mountain has appeared…

in the middle of the syllabus. Alongside familiar NESA categories of writing - including imaginative, informative, persuasive, reflective - is “discursive writing”.

Set the scene

Imagine you have been asked to write a piece on the subject of the mountain.

According to NESA, you are composing a piece of writing “without the direct intention of persuading the reader, listener or viewer to adopt any single point of view.”

This frees you to explore a variety of perspectives about the concept of the mountain, and any number of actual mountains.

Invite students to contribute:

  • Personal experiences or family anecdotes of mountains

  • Recollections of mountains from literature and the arts (film, visual arts, music)

  • Knowledge of mountains from geography and other subject areas

  • Symbolic meanings of mountains

  • Mountains in ancient settings (biblical/mythological)

Senior students bringing character, terminology, literary devices and facts into coalescence.

Senior students bringing character, terminology, literary devices and facts into coalescence.

 

Collect contributions on a whiteboard or in a shared document

Which are the strongest? What order feels right and why? What else might you need to add to produce a meaningful and resonant piece of writing?

Now go back

Reflect on the insights into the subject matter. Are these foreshadowed in your opening? Rewrite your opening.

This is one possible set of first steps. There are many ways to approach a mountain.

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