Saturday, 10 November 2012

Writing circle stories to teach organization


This year, I am teaching writing primarily through the 6 Traits.  As part of teaching the trait of organization, I read my class a handful of books by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  She writes books such as "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If you Give a Moose a Muffin".  These books all follow the same premise - whatever you give the animal at the beginning "chances are" it will ask for it on the very last page.


I read aloud several over a few days.  Once we had a good base to go by, we brainstormed common words/sentences in the stories.  Students then had a discussion about what they could write about.  The next step was to fold a paper into 6 spots.  This gave them essentially 6 pages to their stories.  My higher writers had up to 12 pages, because they flipped their papers over.  The goal was to make their story logical (the animal couldn't just ask for something because you ran out of boxes, it had to make sense) and use inspiration from the originals to make your own.

Once a rough draft was complete, students worked in pairs to edit each others' work.  They then published their work by typing it up and illustrating.  I am fortunate enough to have a document camera in my room so students are able to share finished work under that for all to see.  Here are a few examples of finished work:





In this last one, the moose asks for a drink of water, which reminds him of his home by the lake.  I think that's hilarious.


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