This week I have been modeling how authors can write about the same topic for more than one page and/or sentence. This is a skill I have been reinforcing for a long time, but they all are writing stories for pleasure each week and I want to help them make their writing stronger. I used some short books this week to show how an author keeps a topic going for more than one page. I felt this was a good lesson to focus on this week since many of my students enjoy writing blank books, but some are not using sentences and jump to various topics as they are writing and turn their page. It has been a struggle for my students to write with details when they are alone. I honestly enjoy looking at their work when they are finished, but at times I am disappointed that they do not always use the ideas from the lessons I have shared with them. Sometimes they write words that do not match sounds that I know they would have if I were sitting with them, or maybe they worked sloppy or surprisingly they may not have any pictures to help the reader understand what their story is.
On Wednesday-Friday, I read:
These books have simple plots that are supported by a main picture on each page. They are all written from a first person point of view and two of them have a strong use of dialogue. All of them start with a thought then the next page is an effect of that first thought. Ex: I had a hippopotamus, (next page) but I gave it to my mother. Ex: My monster and I play outside. (next page) We jump, climb and swing.
When modeling I made sure I talked about how the thoughts of the other connected from one page to the next. I also introduced the comma, and how it is important when adding more information to a thought. The comma was also used in our poem of the week to reinforce this new symbol. I modeled how to pause for a comma as opposed to stopping for a period.
Can you see six ducks?
Can you see five?
Can you see four ducks,
swimming in a line?
Can you see three ducks?
Can you see two?
Can you see one duck,
swimming near you?
In the writing center one of my students wrote a story in which he talked to his friend on three different pages about rainbows. This was the best writing I saw all week, and it was completely without help. I took notice of the commas that he used, along with dialogue. When he read it to the class (on the document camera) his peers noticed that he used them as well.
I also have to share some independent writing of notes and drawings to me that some of my students made. I was out on Monday, recovering from all of the wedding excitement and I came back to these sweet thoughts: