Writing Creatively (Sample)

 

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Writing Creatively provides a systematic, step-by-step program for developing students’ written expression skills.

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Writing Creatively Dr Lillian Fawcett Ph.D., B.Ed., B.A. Psychology (Honours) This book belongs to ____________________________

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CONTENTS Introduction …………...……………………….……….…….…..…... Part One……………………………….………………………….……. • Oral Language Development..…………………………….………….. Part Two……………………………….……………………….…..…. • 10 Minute Daily Writing..……………………………………...…….. • Writing Record…………..…………………………………......……. • Adjectives………..……………………………………………...……. • Adverbs…………………………………………………………..…... • Expanding Sentences.……....…………………………………...……. • Synonyms: Said………………………………..………………..……. • Similes…..……………………………………………………..……… • Synonyms: Went……………………………..….….…………..……. • Strange Sentences……………………………………………...…..…. • Synonyms: Got………………………………..….…………..………. • Sentence Beginnings. ……………………………………......………. • Synonyms: Saw………………………………..….………….………. • Homonyms.…………………………………………………..…..….... • Synonyms: Took……..………………………..….…………..………. • Homophones………………………………………………..……...…. • Synonyms: Ate…………….…………………..….………….………. • How Many Words?……………………………….………….....……. • Synonyms: Made……………….……………..….………..…………. • What a Character………………………………………….………….. • It’s all Nonsense…………………………………………..………….. Part Three……………………………….…………...…….…….……. • Extended Writing..………………………..………………………….. • Editing Checklist ……...………………………………….…..……… • Example…………………………………………………….…...……. • Short Story: Tree ………..……………………………..….………… • Short Story: Ship (with example).……………………..….………… • Short Story: Sign Post (with example)..…………….….…………… • Short Story: Phone Call..…………………………….….…………… • Short Story: Kite ………………………………………..…………… • Short Story: Robot …………………………………..….…………… • Short Story: Rain Cloud…………………………..…….…………… • Short Story: Book …………………………………………………… • Writing Reports ……………………………………………………… • Writing Recounts…..…………………...…...……………………….. • Some More Ideas ……………………………………………………. • Ragin’ Rapids….…………………………………………………….. Part Four……………………………………………………...….……. • Strange Stories..……………………………………………..……….. • Follow the Map ……...……………………….…………………….… • Number Writing………………………………………………………. • Image Starters………………………………………………………… • Good-Bad Stories ……………………………………………………. • Silence is Golden…................................................………….………. • Ideas for Books.…..……………..………………...…………………. • Writing Games………………..……………………………...………. PAGE 2 3 4 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 45 46 47 48 52 59 70 81 88 94 100 106 111 114 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 Writing Creatively p. 1

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INTRODUCTION Many students find it difficult to write in a cohesive, interesting and fluent style. Writing Creatively provides a systematic, step-by-step program for developing students’ written expression skills. Writing Creatively is divided into four parts. The first part provides activities for developing students’ oral expression. Good language skills underpin good writing skills. The second part consists of a series of ‘10 minutes a day’ exercises designed to develop students’ vocabulary and sentence structures. Part three introduces students to planning and provides an opportunity for writing longer pieces of text. The final section consists of a collection of additional ideas to encourage and give students practise in writing. Many students require numerous opportunities to focus on and practise specific aspects of writing in order to become proficient writers. Part two of Writing Creatively introduces students to different elements of effective writing one at a time. The student is then given the opportunity to focus on and practise this one specific component for the remainder of the week. It is strongly recommended that a 10 minute time slot is set aside each day for students for this activity. Like any skill, the development of writing skills requires regular, focused practise. Effective planning is critical to the development of coherent and logically expressed writing. The use of mind-maps provides a definitive structure to students’ writing, plus provides a built-in indicator of each new paragraph. Students who have a sound grasp of mind-mapping will find it an invaluable tool not only for structuring their writing, but also as a tool for developing study notes. It is strongly recommended that students are encouraged to limit their extended writing to five paragraphs with the emphasis on ensuring that each sentence within those paragraphs is well constructed and interesting. The actual writing of words on paper is only one small component of the process in producing a quality piece of writing. Equal amounts of time should be spent on the planning and editing process. The editing process should not just consist of identifying errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar. It is equally important that time is spent discussing how individual sentences could be improved with the addition of adjectives, adverbs, descriptive phrases and/or rearranging word order to provide variation and interest. In a classroom situation, where time constraints are a limiting factor, students would benefit most if teachers spent time with each student improving just one sentence, rather than correcting papers independently of the students. Writing practice does not always have to result in a formalised piece of work. The fourth section of this book provides a range of ideas that can be used to encourage students to put pen to paper. Many of the ideas could be implemented in a five minute timeslot between other activities or before a break. In addition, several of the ideas in the oral language section could be adapted to involve writing rather than speaking. Writing Creatively p. 2

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PART ONE Writing Creatively p. 3

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ORAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT The goal of writing instruction is to improve students’ ability to produce cohesive and coherent written discourse. However, effective writing has been shown to be dependent upon verbal working memory. In addition, this goal presupposes that students have the language resources to support the written expression of their ideas. Oral language acquisition is a naturally occurring process for most children. However, for many children the ability to speak with fluency and clarity is a skill which requires specific instruction and practise. To speak with fluently and clarity students need to be able to organise their thinking and express their ideas in a logical sequence, using grammatically correct sentences which incorporate a wide range of vocabulary. These oral language skills provide the foundation for logical and clear written expression. Oral language and written language are inextricably linked. If you do not have the ability to express your ideas orally, you will not be able to express your ideas in writing. Similarly, if grammatical errors occur in speech they are going to be reproduced in the written form. In fact, research indicates that students who have developed refined oral language skills are better able to produce high levels of written discourse and are more likely to achieve academic success. More specifically, the research indicates a significant positive correlation between oral and written word usage, word quantity, and sophistication of grammar. Oral Language Activities The following activities provide some ideas for giving students oral language practice. They may occur in pairs, small groups or as a class activity. It is important that all students are given the opportunity to participate in a supportive, encouraging environment. Some of the ideas presented in Part 4 may also be adapted to an oral activity. Writing Creatively p. 4

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Construct story maps by drawing or pasting pictures onto a piece of paper according to a theme:  Shopping  Haunted House  Planet  Farm  Strange Land  Park Students move small toys and figures around the story map describing the characters’ adventures. Ask for more detail. What can the character see? What can the character smell? How did the character feel? Set up an obstacle course. Students have to provide instructions at each station as to how to carry out the activity. DACS (Dialogue, Action, Character, Setting): At random times during the day, call out either dialogue, action, character or setting. The student has to choose something they can see as the stimulus and then construct an appropriate sentence. Make up a group story. One person begins and other people continue the story. Each person talks for a given time (e.g., 30 seconds) and at the end of that time must stop immediately (even in the middle of a sentence) and the next person continues. Take turns to tell a well-known story or describe an event in which the other participants were involved. The speaker changes some elements of the story or recount and the listeners need to find the errors. Take it in turns to give instructions for everyone else to follow. The instructions need to be for activities that can be carried out on the spot. Each person is only allowed to give one instruction and as soon as that instruction has been carried out the next person must immediately give the next instruction (e.g., Touch your nose with your wrist). 20 Questions:  One person thinks of an object or well known character/person.  The other person (people) ask questions which can only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  A maximum of 20 questions can be asked.  At any time, the asker can have a guess at the answer. However, if the guess is not correct that person is out of the game. Writing Creatively p. 5

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PART TWO Writing Creatively p. 7

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10 MINUTE DAILY WRITING Each of the activities in this section is designed to develop students’ vocabulary and sentence structure to make their writing more interesting. • • • • • • • At the beginning of the week, introduce a concept to the students and have them complete the associated worksheet. Students then use the worksheet as the basis of their 10 minute, daily writing activity. At the end of the 10 minutes, students count the number of words written and record their score on the graph on page 9. The aim is for students to increase the number of words written during the 10 minutes. The word count may be modified by excluding words spelled incorrectly or written illegibly. At the conclusion of the exercise, it is beneficial to work through the passage with students correcting errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is also beneficial to take one sentence and work together to improve the sentence by rearranging the word order and/or adding adjectives, adverbs and/or additional imagery. If students have difficulties writing down ideas, you may begin the program using the following types of activities. As described above, students should write for 10 minutes then count and record the words written during this time: • Write down words within a category or subject area.  objects you can see in the room  objects you can see out the window  animals  colours  names  food  objects found in a house • Extend the above writing by including adjectives (e.g., a big picture book, a set of different coloured pencils) • Write a list of items on a particular topic, but each item needs to consist of several words.  Gifts for a giant  a striped picnic rug to use as a beach towel  the trunk of a pine tree to use as a walking stick  an oval shaped swimming pool for a bath  Making mum mad  New ice-cream flavours  Things you would do if you were invisible  Wishes you would ask a genie to grant  Activities at your birthday party  Titles for books Writing Creatively p. 8

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WRITING RECORD 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Writing Creatively p. 9

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turquoise tiny enormous dark SIZE angry embarrassed striped COLOUR adjectives QUALITY torn fluffy happy first DEGREE NUMBER luckiest eleven worst few Writing Creatively p. 10

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• • • • An adjective describes a noun. Complete the adjectives mind-map. Each day choose a picture from a magazine or picture book. Write an interesting description of the object. Use the mind-map to give you ideas. Write for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, record the number of words you wrote on the graph on page 9. See if another person can find the picture that you described. The green, stuffed frog has golf ball eyes on each side of its head. Writing Creatively p. 11

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EX PAN The boy hit the ball. DING S ENTENCES After breakfast, the chubby, black-haired boy angrily hit the small, red ball over the fence. EXPAND THESE SENTENCES The dog barked at the car. The monkey climbed the tree. The children swam in the sea. The bird fed its babies. The moth flew to the light. The horse galloped around the paddock. The snake slithered. (Hint: Use your adjectives and adverbs mind-maps) The cat sat on the mat. The dragon charged the knight. The alien explored the planet. The girl played in the garden. The policeman caught the robber. The fairy flew to the flower. The baby slept in the cot. Writing Creatively p. 14

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• • • • Each day choose a different sentence. Keep rewriting the same sentence adding in extra words each time. Use your adjectives and adverbs mind-maps to give you ideas. Write for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, record the number of words you wrote on the graph on page 9. The boy hit the ball. The chubby, black haired boy hit the ball. The chubby, black haired boy angrily hit the ball. Writing Creatively p. 15

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exclaimed pleaded shouted sobbed said whispered argued whimpered laughed Writing Creatively p. 16

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