Posts Tagged ‘story writing’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

#WriteOut sponsored by the National Writing Project in partnership with the National Parks began yesterday with a wonderful video and prompt from Golden Gate National Recreation Area. My students and I had a productive day of writing in response.

As a teacher of writing, I am interested in prompts that lead to creative and imaginative writing. This first prompt did the job. Because there was a way into the story (a character enters a portal), students created a variety of different responses. Each one carried their character through the portal in interesting ways. Avalyn, second grade, chose herself as the character who finds the portal on the monkey bars and travels to the desert, then the rainforest, and back home where she lives happily ever after. Her story is here.

Katie and Jaden, 6th graders, chose to be animals in their stories. I think their chosen animals say a little about who they are. You can read their stories on Fanschool here and here.

Chloe’s story reminds me of a book I read this summer on Netgalley, Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt. It’s a book to grab up if you teach middle grades. It’s a lovely story of a camel who saves tiny twin kestrels from a dust storm. I loved all the characters in this book and love that it weaves in a history of camels in Texas. Chloe hasn’t read this book yet, but the creative magic wand waved over her with these words:

Once in a desert, a camel walked into a purple glowing light. He knew it was a portal. He shifted and swayed until he stopped, opened his eyes and saw a horse running around a castle that had the words “Mississippi Land” on it.

Read the whole story here
Join Write Out!

I wrote alongside my students and may work on my story for a regional Louisiana picture book idea. There, I put it in writing. I know it needs a lot of work, but what do you think about a mosquito and banana spider that take a ride through the swamp on a brown pelican?

The Write Out prompts and resources will be remain available on NWP’s website, so even if you don’t have time to work them into your lessons now, tuck them into a back pocket. They are gems!

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Digital learning

Today is Digital Learning Day, a day when educators join together and take the pledge to make digital learning a priority. To learn more about the movement, click here.

To celebrate digital learning day, things didn’t look all that different in my class. My students are very connected to the computer through their kidblog site. A few weeks ago we started a new writing project. For this writing, I wanted my students to combine elements of fiction and nonfiction. We used the Magic Treehouse books as a model. I don’t usually set a word count for writing, but for this one, we talked about it and decided the goal would be 1000-1500 words, with at least 5 chapters. I think this has worked well to make them think bigger. And they are writing…a lot! Almost every day, our kidblog site is updated with new chapters.

As a digital component of this writing project, I taught my students how to make a PowerPoint picture into a jpeg. The PowerPoint program allows them to layer pictures and text, group them together, and paste the image into Paint to save as an image file. The image file will be used in a movie or Animoto book trailer.

Tyler made this image using PowerPoint. He layered a waterfall image with a rock (boulder), a dinosaur, and a pool of water. He placed his text below as in a real picture book. He will build a movie in MovieMaker to “show” his book.

Chapter 1

Matthew chose to make a book trailer in Animoto about his book. All his images were pulled from the Animoto site.


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