Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Girls in Animal Print are Trouble

The 6 Traits of Writing encourages teachers to use picture books to help students generate ideas and details. For practice in narrative writing, we read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, then used it as a spring board for the students’ individual writing.

http://educationnorthwest.org/traits (Official website of the 6 Traits)

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Here is the writing prompt and outline I gave my students. You can see that the student has quite a terrible day to write about. But it was his second point that had me laughing:

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Cheetah print? The known calling card of a skank, even to 7th graders! I gave him an A.

Surprise! Kids Love Dogs!

Okay…so it’s really no surprise at all that kids love dogs!

I get so many pieces of writing that include star roles for man’s best friend, from adorable puppies to brave rescue dogs. Here is a description activity involving a dog, but the catch is that students won’t know that immediately! Despite this, the mystery of what should/might come next will hook them in.

Completing a Description

I fell in love the minute I saw him. He had hair the color of November woods and eyes that turned me into marshmallow crème. I knew we belonged to each other.

He raised his head and looked at me. He knew.

Have students write the next three sentences to this paragraph. Students will create interesting descriptions without knowing the true continuation of the story. This exercise can also being used with a small section of a book the class is about to read. When the students later get to that section, they will be excited to see what will come next, and it will give them a sense of ownership over something they also wrote.

My brother and his dog Sherman.

 

Here is the remainder of the excerpt:

I fell in love the minute I saw him. He had hair the color of November woods and eyes that turned me into marshmallow crème. I knew we belonged to each other.

He raised his head and looked at me. He knew. And when I knelt beside him, he kicked my hand—all the way to the elbow, his long tail thumped on the floor.

“What happened?” I said to the boy who held the dog by a piece of rope.

“Cut his paw pretty bad on something, and he ain’t eatin’ neither.” The boy stroked the dog’s big, shaggy head. He looked worried.

I noticed the dirty, crusted wound on the left forepaw, the matted fur. My new love smelled like a sewer from hell. “What’s his name?”

“Don’t know. Granddaddy says somebody must’ve dumped him out and left him. I was supposed to take him to the pound, but I thought I’d try here first. He’s a good old dog. Maybe Doc Nichols knows somebody who’ll take him.”

“You did the right thing.” I remembered what it was like being “dumped” in a strange place.

I had $149.74 in my checking account, no job, and a house being sold out from under me. “I’ll take him,” I said.

From Angel at Troublesome Creek by Mignon F. Ballard

All credit to Penny Crofford, who gives wonderful Pre-AP workshops.

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