Once students can say their beginning, middle, and end, know what their story is really about, and can identify their important parts, they almost always can make a solid plan and feel comfortable beginning to draft. But sometimes it’s hard to get them to this point in the process.
“Show don’t tell,” we say over and over to students but–it’s harder than it sounds, though, maybe for multiple reasons.
Here’s a fun strategy you can try to generate writing in your notebook this summer. Come back-to-school time, you can teach your students how to use this strategy if they get stuck.
The students wrapped their writing in an array of wrapping paper, and they left my classroom eager to share their gifts – the gift of words.
“Story is the basic unit of human understanding.” – Drew Dudley, Day One Leadership. We have been learning through story for thousands of years. Our innate fascination for wanting to know what happens… Continue reading
Ever since I read this post by Katie Kraushaar, I’ve been thinking about personal narrative and wondering why it is that students, particularly in middle elementary grades and beyond, are sometimes less than enthusiastic about… Continue reading
We spend a week or so sharing stories, and building excitement for writing stories. We hand out notebooks with fanfare, and writers happily personalize them. They brainstorm ideas for stories they could write.… Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about why young writers struggle with personal narrative and realistic fiction writing.
When I first opened Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds, I was not (yet) reading it with the eye of a writer. I was way too smitten with the bird on the front cover. I mean,… Continue reading
Janiel Wagstaff’s books will help you teach primary writers about the four types of writing in an engaging way. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her series of Stella books.
Opening lines should draw readers into the world of a story & involve them from the start.
How, she wondered, could we get them to write more focused narratives? And what types of entries could they make in their writer’s notebooks to help them with this process?
I have an irrational fear of mice. It is bad news. My husband has established a preemptive strike in our basement and garage. He engages in an impossible battle to keep our home,… Continue reading
This Moose Belongs to Me and Baby Penguins Everywhere are new books with strong messages that contain craft moves we can teach young writers.
I’ve been tinkering around with the picture books I’m going to bring when I speak at WordFest later this month. My presentation focuses on using recently published picture books as mentor texts to… Continue reading
I’ve been trying to think through how to explain thinking in scenes to young writers in a way that makes it accessible. It seems they either write two scenes and call it done… Continue reading
Patricia Polacco has long been one of my favorite children’s authors. I’ve led author studies of her works with my former students in both reading and writing workshop. I have used books like… Continue reading
I’ve been working on a few sample minilessons to give my grad students next month when I start teaching “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing.” I’ve been making tweaks to the traditional minilesson structure… Continue reading
An eclectic little stack today. Click on the images to go to a link about the book. I’ve been enjoying books I can read a little here and a little there. This book,… Continue reading