Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writers Notice Things and Write Them Down

As you are preparing to finish your year, one of the things that is probably on your mind is: How can I encourage my students to be lifelong writers now that they are leaving me?  I was asked to do lessons with students as they attended their last few days of the school year. I would only have them for 1/2 hour. What could I teach them in that short time to help them be better writers? That was my thinking as I prepared for that day.

My lesson ended up being: Writers notice things and write them down.  Here is the lesson I came up with for notebook writing and helping students to be better observers and therefore, better writers. It might be something you want to try with your students on these last days of the year.

Writers notice things and write them down
Lesson: Notebook Work….Snapshots
CONNECTION:
I really enjoy taking pictures. One thing I take pictures of is just snapshots of things I observe around my neighborhood. I observe things very closely. Let me show you a couple of my snapshots. [Show pictures of daisies and two bird nest pics]

What do you observe in these pictures? Turn and Talk
When I took those shots, what senses did I use? Turn and Talk

TEACHING:
When we write, we also need to be good observers. Using our senses helps with that. I want to show you an example of how one student did that. [Use from LWN N-5] Quinnee is in 4th grade. She took a walk outside and wrote this in her notebook. As I read it, notice which of the senses she used. Turn and Talk
ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT
You can do this, too. You can collect snapshots of your world with words. You might even want to add a drawing or sketch if you think that would enhance the snapshot you’re trying to create. You don’t have to go to a faraway place to find ideas to write about. If you get in the habit of observing, you’ll find that there are plenty of things close by.

LINK:
Today we are going to make a snapshot book to collect our snapshots. [Make book—foldable—put sense on each page & page for wonderings] We are going outside, quietly, and become observers. As a writer, you should do TWO things:

1.    Notice things
2.    Get in the habit of writing them down

(This lesson was taken from ideas from Lessons for the Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi.)

2 comments:

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