Saturday, April 27, 2013

Child Authors!

In a previous post, "Round up that Bossy R," I described our circle-map project with r-controlled syllables. However, there was a second component to this project, which has been really beneficial for some of my students. I assigned my more independent writers with the task of creating a story. Each story would feature a main character named Bossy R. They completed a prewriting exercise in which they planned their stories according to a Somebody-Wanted-But-So strategy. If you are unfamiliar with this strategy, you can read a brief, but informative, overview of it here.

Typically, this is a during- or after-reading strategy that focuses on teaching plot elements, particularly plot and resolution. However, for this particular activity, I reversed the roles on my students. Instead of reading a story and using the strategy to help identify the story elements within the story, they used it as a prewriting tool for a creative writing exercise.

From that point on, they wrote their stories according to their prewriting outline. This afforded some really great discussions because several of them copied their tree map entirely, without adding any details. So we had a chance to review details in a story: why they are important to the story, but not quite as necessary in the summary. With that, the students went back and developed their stories a bit more thoroughly. Their first drafts were handwritten, but then they began typing. (Yes, I know my tablecloth has had it.. try to ignore that, please.)

When they finished typing their stories, I assigned them each to a partner. They worked with their partners to reread their stories and correct any errors in their writing.

The end results are now available on the "Author's Share" page. I have published their stories exactly as they have written them, and I hope you will enjoy their work. I wish I had created this page earlier in the school year, but better late than never, right? :) Next year, I plan to incorporate far more reading and writing connections our my classroom, so hopefully this page will be far more fruitful in the future. For now, enjoy these tidbits, and please feel free to leave comments for the student authors! :)