Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thinking Like Turkeys: An Update

Turkeys are fun.  I've always thought so. In my opinion, they're one of the most interesting birds around, and I'm so glad that my state has lots of them. 

Since November is the perfect time for all things turkey, my students are writing narratives from a turkey's point of view.  

We've learned about writing entertaining beginnings. Please excuse the quick, definitely NOT Pinterest-worthy chart that I quickly created. My colleague and I taught the techniques for beginnings. We modeled. Students wrote their beginnings and shared them aloud.

Next, we reviewed using our five senses to describe a setting. We focused on varied sentence beginnings. Students wrote their own descriptions, but first we wrote this description together as a shared writing exercise. Before they shared their ideas with the whole group, students "turned and talked" about specific details that might be included. When we do shared writing, we use the Smartboard most of the time. We work together to draft and revise.

Just today, we worked on using hints and "red flag words" to create suspense. Here's what we came up with together.

The techniques I use to teach narrative writing are from the Empowering Writers program.  Empowering Writers was designed by two Connecticut teachers, Barbara Mariconda and Dea Paoletta Auray, after they thoroughly researched what strong writers do. Their methodology and materials are excellent. I encourage you to check out their website for more information.

Next up will be the MAIN EVENT! I'll be back with an update when we've written more of our stories.

How do you teach writing? What techniques or approaches do you use?

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