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  1. WRITING WORKSHOP By: Ms. M. Menendez Edited and Expanded by: Mrs. A. Guerra

  2. “Here’s the secret to writing: there is no secret.” Ralph Fletcher

  3. Packing Punch, Power, and PIZZAZ in student writing

  4. Something to think about… Writing is shaped by purpose and audience. Every piece of writing, even writing that is not shared, has a purpose, whether it is to express feelings, to be creative, to explain or inform, to persuade, or to clarify thinking.

  5. Core Beliefs About Writingby Ralph Fletcher • WRITERS NEED: • Time • To separate composing from editing • Response • Responsibility • CONDITIONS FOR REAL WRITING: • Personal (choice) • Interpersonal (social) • Time/Space to do quality work • Pay-off (purpose/feedback)

  6. Writing is thinking made visible! Research supports that the more students write, the more fluent they become as writers.

  7. The Writing Process – A Quick Overview • Prewriting / Planning: Use different planners (graphic organizers) to choose from. Try using a variety of them, and learn what good planning looks like. Spending more time on prewriting will make the entire writing process easier. • Drafting: Just write! No grading will be involved. These writing opportunities will become the “works” you go back to for elaboration and extension. • Revising: THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT! It is better to revise one paper more thoroughly than to write ten and barely revise them. • Proofreading: DO NOT correct errors in grammar while drafting at the expense of impeding the flow of ideas. Edit for sentence variety and specific use of punctuation. • Publishing: Share your master piece! 

  8. REVISING IS WHERE IT’S AT… • You should ONLY do four things to revise your paper: • Add something. • Take away something. • Change something. • Move something.

  9. REVISION HELPS ELABORATION AND EXTENSION IN WRITING What does the ERB rubric say? • Support: The degree to which the response includes details that develop the main points. • “4 Paper” - Details are adequate to support the focus. Details are generally relevant to the focus. • “5 Paper” - Details are strong and varied throughout. Details are relevant and appropriate for the focus. • “6 Paper” - Supporting details are rich, interesting, and informative throughout: fully developed. Details are relevant and appropriate for the focus.

  10. ADDING Includes… • Transitional words and phrases • Showing sentences/paragraphs • Magnified moments • Precise word choice • Dialogue • Adding a “magic” conjunction to combine two short sentences • Simile or metaphor

  11. TAKING AWAY Includes… • Eliminating unrelated information • Too many “I’s” • Too many “and then (s)” • Too many “so’s” • Etc.

  12. CHANGING SOMETHING Includes… • Looking through your paper: • On the LEFT-hand column, list every verb you used in your writing. • On the RIGHT-hand column, write a substitution for each verb you listed on the right. • EX: You might change FELL with COLLAPSED.

  13. MOVING SOMETHING Includes… • Inverting a sentence: • The old man sat on the wooden bench. • On the wooden bench sat the old man. • Emphasizing an adjective: • The exhausted ballerina fell into a deep sleep. • The ballerina, exhausted, fell into a deep sleep. • Changing the “voice”: • The maid cleaned the room. • The room was cleaned by the maid.

  14. Get away from formulaic writing. Be a unique author! AVOID things such as… • I love winter. Do you? • My dad is a special person. Let me explain why. • That’s why pizza is my favorite food. What’s yours? • I woke up and it was all a dream.


  16. 1. Grab the reader’s attention2. Set the scene with a lead3. Bring characters to life (give them personality, show their feelings, etc.)4. Add a TAG to dialogue5. Use hype and exaggeration6. Paint vivid word pictures (details)7. Extra support through examples8. Vary those sentences9. Add vigor to verbs and other parts of speech10.Exciting or engaging endings

  17. 1-Grab the Reader’s Attention Like a master fisherman who baits his hook and lures all sorts of fish into his “trap,” you must catch the attention of your reader from the start!

  18. Your GRABBER or HOOK must surprise your reader from the start: • Question: Something that makes them think • Shocking statement: An unexpected opinion, etc. • Humor: An exaggeration (hyperbole) • Horror: A frightening statement • Authority: A quotation from an expert

  19. Dialogue: An exchange of words between people • Literary work: A line from a famous poem or song • Famous person: Famous words from someone well- known • Anecdote: A little story that happened to someone • Sound effect: An onomatopoeia • Setting: Describe the time or place • Etc.

  20. Examples of books with great grabbers: • Hey Al by Arthur Yorinks (description of character and question) • Big Mama’s by Donald Crews (question) • My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray (description of a person) • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (setting the mood) • All About Owls by Jim Arnosky (question lead) • Vote! by Eileen Christelow (What if..? Scenario) • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (quote) • My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris (anecdote)

  21. From all these techniques, CHOOSE ONE, and write an introductory paragraph with grabber: • Use dialogue: have the main character talking to someone. • Begin describing the setting of astory about a natural disaster. • Pose a thought-provoking question. • Describe a character’s thoughts or feelings. • Begin with an astonishing fact. • Use a sound effect. • Start with a quotation from an expert or someone well-known. • Describe a setting. • Use humor or word play. Writing Activity

  22. 2-Set the Scene With a LEAD • The LEAD is a very important part of any piece of writing. The first few sentences are often the point when readers decide if they're going to continue reading. • Jump right into the action: Begin in the middle of an action-filled portion of the story (you many need to use flashback later)

  23. A little more explanation on LEADS • Common Lead: It was a day at the end of November. My mom, dad, brother, and I were at our camp on the lake. We had arrived the night before at 10:00, so it was dark when we got there an unpacked. We went straight to bed. The next morning my dad started yelling at me from the dock at the top of his lungs. He said there was a car in the lake. • This is a very common lead that is not very exciting. lt puts all of the who, what, where, when, and why information at the beginning. This is not the best lead because the reader gets all of the information at the beginning and there is no real need for them to read on.

  24. THE FOLLOWING LEADS ARE MORE EXCITING AND WILL GRAB THE READER'S ATTENTION: • Action Lead: A Main Character Doing Something I gulped my milk, pushed away from the table, and bolted out of the kitchen, slamming the screen door behind me. I ran down to the dock as fast as my legs could carry me. My feet pounded on the floor, hurrying me toward the sound of my dad's voice. "Scott!" he yelled, "there's a car in the lake!"

  25. Dialogue Lead: One or More Characters Speaking "Scott! Get down here on the double!" Dad yelled. His voice sounded far away. "Dad?" I screamed. "Where are you?" I squinted through the screen door but couldn't see him. "l'm down on the dock. Move it. You're not going to believe this," he replied. “There’s a car in the lake!”

  26. Reaction Lead: A Character Thinking I couldn't imagine why my father was yelling for me at 7:00 in the morning. I thought fast about what I might have done to get in trouble. Did my report card come in the mail? Did he find the lamp I broke playing football in the house? Before I could move, his voice rang out again. "Scott move it! You're not going to believe this. There’s a car in the lake!”

  27. THREE THINGS A LEAD IS SUPPOSED TO DO: • Leads give enticing information about the story. • Leads should make a reader want to read on. • Leads usually begin in the middle of the action. You can go back to the beginning of the story in paragraph two.

  28. 3-Bring Characters to Life • Rely on clues that an author has written to make inferences about a character’s personality or motivation. • After a few days of practice, this will become quite easy to see.

  29. READING: • Guess My Emotion • Small Readers Theater skit with a pre-chosen emotion to be used with a particular character. • EX:Big Bad Wolf pessimistic Little Red Riding Hood bossy Simple Mini-Lessons to teach this:

  30. Short WritesTeacher provides a simple sent., and students use graphic organizer (head and body) to do a Show, Don’t Tell.(See next slide.)


  32. Next, write a complete narrative that includes at least one character you have fully developed. In order to do this, use the Character Profile graphic organizer.

  33. 4-Add a Tag to Dialogue THE PURPOSE FOR DIALOGUE TAGS: • Dialogue tags like “he said” and “she explained” have two main purposes in a story or paper: • They tell the reader who is speaking or the source of the quotation. If you were writing about three people at the beach, you would include dialogue tags so that the reader would know which of the three people were talking. • They show the reader actions related to the comments. If you were writing about three people sharing a secret, for instance, you might use the dialogue tag whispered to describe how someone was talking.

  34. Dialogue Tags found in Bedhead: • shouted Mom, Dad, and Emily as they ran up the stairs and headed for the bathroom door • she whispered, in her calmest calm Mom voice • Mom said, giving it a try • they said, sighing a confident, job-well-done sigh • shouted Dad, taking aim with a squirt • the three shouted, seeing the boy with bristles poised • he pointed, the hat, the hat • demanded Oliver, holding tightly on to his hat

  35. LET’S TRY IT OUT… • Pair up to look through literature models (trade books and/or magazines) containing narratives, and list the dialogue tags you find. • Share your dialogue tags. • If your dialogue tag used the word “SAID,” substitute it for a stronger, appropriate one. • Last, we will go back to Bedhead and substitute some dialogue tags.

  36. Apply the Skill in YOUR Writing: • Go to your writing notebook, and find a piece of writing you created last week. • Select an event for which two lines of dialogue can be written. • Write the dialogue with tags that use a strong verb and/or provide additional information or direction.

  37. For a list of strong verb-substitutes for SAID, refer to the wall.

  38. Also, here are many more:

  39. 5-Use Hype and Exaggeration • HYPERBOLE: • The use of exaggeration as a figure of speech. • It may be used to evoke strong feeling or to create a strong impression, but is NOT meant to be taken literally. • It is often used in POETRY and in casual speech. “The bag weighed a ton.”

  40. Hyperboles are considered “extravagant exaggerations” and are, therefore, NOT APPROPRIATE when writing essays or reports, BUT a little hyperbole is an effective way to color the speech of a character in a short story OR to use it to make a point effectively in a humorous piece of writing.EX: I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.

  41. Let’s try it! • Use these statements to complete original hyperboles: • The student is so lazy that… • The class was so boring (or exciting) that… • Work in pairs to author a short story creating a character that uses hyperboles constantly.

  42. 3. Hyperboles are used in “Yo Mama” jokes. Yo mama’s so small, she does chin-ups on the curb. 4. Make a list of at least 5 hyperboles not already mentioned. Now, choose 1 and create a poem using hyperbole. Your poem must have at least 10 lines.(Do not use anyone’s mama!) 

  43. READ THIS EXAMPLE OF A POEM WITH HYPERBOLE: The Hippo A head or tail - which does he lack? I think his forward's coming back! He lives on carrots, leeks, and hay; He starts to yawn - it takes all day Some time I think I'll live that way.

  44. 6-Paint Vivid Work Pictures(types of details) • Writers paint word pictures in the mind of the reader much like an artist paints on canvas. • Artists use color, lines, and shapes, while writers use words!

  45. Complete this sentence: I know from this picture… • NOW, what do you think artists and writers have in common?

  46. THE NEED TO BE CREATIVE! They give DETAILS to show what the picture or writing is about. • Now, looking at the picture again, tell things that show WHAT, WHERE, WHO, WHEN, HOW (the 4W’s and 1H).