Aug 4, 2013

Building Ideas from "Nothing" :) Creative Writing Mentor Text

Happy Sunday Friends!  Today I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties to share a mentor text with you.  As many of you might know, I focus a great deal of 6+1 Traits of Writing in my classroom.  It allows me to share a common language with my students that makes conferring and mini-lessons flow more smoothly for us.

I like to introduce each trait with a picture book.  For the traits of IDEAS, I like to use Nothing Good Ever Happens on 90th Street.

I am fortunate that our school has purchased Trait Crates from Scholastic.  These crates are packed full of wonderful picture books and ideas to teach each trait.  This particular book is included in the crate and, although this particular lesson is not included, there are several wonderful ideas packed right in.  
pic from Scholastic

As the story goes, Eva is sitting on her front stoop.  She has a writing assignment to complete and she can't think of anything interesting that happens in her little world.  With the help of some neighbors, she realizes that things might be a bit more interesting that she originally thought.

My take on the story is to focus on the fact that Eva wasn't looking closely enough to observe all the details that are around her each day.  I use this focus and build a lesson that models and teaches students to dig deeply and creatively into their topics to find ideas for their writing.  The details are there, we just have to open our minds and notice them!

After a read aloud and a mini-lesson on digging and creating details, we take a tour of our school.  We observe the day to day activities through our newly trained critical eyes.  :)  We look for the details that we've been missing, and make notes to prepare for a creative writing assignment.

Here's our Assignment Card.  Feel free to download if you are interested.  It is in ppt form and you may make adjustments to fit your needs.  :)
I hope this is a lesson and read aloud that you can use.  It is appropriate for any grade level, although adjustments to the lesson may be needed in order to meet the needs of varied age groups and writing abilities.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your Sunday.  Make sure to click over and see the fabulous mentor texts that are being linked up at Collaboration Cuties today!

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Aug 2, 2013

Five for Friday! It's been a busy week. :)

By the time you read this, I'll probably be on my way to have lots of fun with collaborate with lots of fabulous blogger friends! ;)  Can't wait ladies!

Yay for the Carolina Blogger Meet-Up!  


Now for a quick "Five for Friday" with DOODLE BUGS TEACHING!

Beth has been contacted via email!  Congratulations Beth and thanks for following!

Okay, I couldn't hold off any longer! I'm diving into INSTAGRAM. :) A big SHOUT OUT goes to Rachel at THE TATTOOED TEACHER for the tutorial for this cute doodle button. Feel free to click and follow...I'm a little behind, but I plan to figure it out!

My family and I spent several days in a sweet little cabin in Tennessee. My youngest is our big kidder! Can't you tell? ;). Here's trying to break out of the shell. :)

My room is starting to look like a classroom again. :) I always get so excited this time of year. My sweet hubby salvaged this book shelf. I'm not quit ready for a big reveal, but I'm getting there!  I'm loving all the classrooms that are being posted, so I hope to join y'all soon. :)

Last but not least, I just want to take a second to say a big thank you to all teachers out there!  I've added a quick little dedication to my side bar to make sure everyone knows how much I appreciate the wonderful community that exists between educators!  I am your biggest fan, and I love learning from each and every one of you!  Here's to wishing each of you a fabulous school year!

Click over and check out the first Five for Friday of the school year!

Enjoy your weekend!
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