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From Daily Warm-Ups: Writing Level 1 / Walch Publishing © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher First 5 1 st Semester © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Writing Prompt school Make a list of all the words you think of when you hear the word school. Then write a sentence, using some of those words, that sums up your overall feelings about school. 3 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- - Onomatopoeia “This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but with a whimper.” -T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men” onomatopoeia These poetic lines use onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia refers to words that come from sounds. What do you think of the image in the poem? What do you think Eliot means? 19 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Onomatopoeia Which of the following sentences gives you a stronger image? The rain plashed into the birdbath. The rain fell into the birdbath. words that sound like sounds Crash, slam, trill clatter The first sentence uses onomatopoeia (words that sound like sounds) to give the reader a clear auditory (sound) image. Crash, slam, trill, and clatter are all examples of onomatopoeia. The rain splooshed into the birdbath The rain tinkled into the birdbath Write three sentences of your own using onomatopoeia. The three sentences have to be the same, except for the onomatopoeia. For example, besides the two sentences at the top of the page, you might write The rain splooshed into the birdbath or The rain tinkled into the birdbath. Each sentence gives a different image. 20 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Onomatopoeia Rewrite the following paragraph using onomatopoeia. The boat moved through the water. The air was heavy. Birds called, and unseen creatures moved into the water. Stinging bugs flew around the boat. Suddenly, Jack heard something traveling in the dense bushes. He stifled a call when the thing came through the leaves onto the river bank. It was just his dog, Buddy! 21 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Simile Onomatopoeia is one device writers use to create sound images. Writers also use other devices to create sensory images. These devices are called figurative language. As hot as an ovenas cold as iceate like a pig One common type of figurative language is the simile. A simile makes a comparison between two unlike things, using like or as. As hot as an oven, as cold as ice, and ate like a pig are all examples of similes, although they are not very original ones. Write three interesting similes related to something you have done or will do today. 22 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Simile Complete the similes below. Make them as interesting, unusual, or as surprising as you can. Just make sure they still make sense and give a clear image. 1. as bright as a(n) ______________ 2. as __________ as a rabbit’s foot 3. as worthless as a(n) __________ 4. like a(n) __________ after dark 5. like a(n) __________ in a downpour 23 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Simile Similes are one type of figurative language. Metaphors are another. Metaphors, like similes, make a comparison between two unlike things. Unlike similes, however, metaphors do not use the words like or as. like She fought like a lion is a simile. She was a lion in battle is a metaphor. Write three metaphors about something you do outside of school. 24 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Personification, the wind whined in the leafless trees Personification is a literary device that gives human attributes to a nonhuman object. For example, the wind whined in the leafless trees is personification. Wind does not whine; people (unfortunately) do. Using personification makes nonhuman things seem as though they have the abilities and the will that people have, giving a strong image of what the writer is describing. Describe something using personification. Then share your sentence with a classmate to get feedback on your image. 26 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Hyperbole Hyperbole, or overstatement, is a literary device that uses exaggeration. Someone who describes the cafeteria line as “twenty miles long” is using hyperbole. Think about examples of hyperbole you have heard, whether in personal conversation, on television, in the newspaper, or in some other kind of communication. In what kind of situation does someone use hyperbole? Hyperbole can sometimes be used to humorous-effect. Write 3 examples of hyperbole that create humorous effect. 27 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Hyperbole The opposite of hyperbole is understatement. With hyperbole, someone exaggerates to the extreme. With understatement, someone plays down what he or she is describing. For example, imagine that Tyler turns red, throws his books into his locker, and slams the door so hard that the whole line of lockers rattles. An observer comments, “Tyler is upset.” That person is using understatement. Think about situations in which you have heard understatement used. When do people use this device? Why? 29 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language- Hyperbole Rewrite the paragraph below, using hyperbole. Then rewrite the paragraph again, using understatement. Make any other necessary changes. When you finished, share and discuss your paragraphs with a classmate. Which one did he or she prefer? Why? Hannah rode her bike to school. She stowed it in the rack. She was late, so she ran to homeroom, a clear violation of hallway policy. When she got there she found that she was later than she had thought; the lunch bell rang. 30 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language - Allusion An allusion is a reference to something from a well-known source, such as the Bible, mythology, literature, or historical events. For example, if someone is described as having a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality, he or she has two opposite personalities, one good and one evil. This is an allusion to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And if you call someone a Benedict Arnold, you are probably call him or her a traitor. Think of any allusions you have come across, perhaps in books you have read. Write them down. Then explain what you think allusion adds to a piece of writing. 31 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language - Allusion Write a sentence using an allusion. Your reference may be to persons, things, or events from the Bible, mythology, literature, or history, or it may be an allusion to something familiar to you and your classmates, such as a school event. 32 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Figurative Language - Alliteration slithering snakelonely, lingering light slithering snake lonely, lingering light Alliteration is the repetition of an initial sound, such as in slithering snake, and lonely, lingering light. Alliteration is a sound device used to create a feeling or association. The s’s in slithering snake are a drawn-out sound—they mimic the sound that a snake makes. The l sound in lonely, lingering light is a gentle sound, as calm as a fading sunset. Alliteration is often used in poetry, but it may be used in prose as well. Think of some examples of alliteration you remember from your reading. Or make up some phrases using alliteration. What feelings or associations do the sounds create? 63 © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar Whenever you learn or practice a skill, it is a good idea to keep some basics in mind. Let’s review some grammar. Do you remember the parts of speech? There are eight. List as many as you can below. Then write an example of each. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Point-of-View (65) Is the perspective from which a story is told. The sentence I went to the beach today is written in the first person. The person telling the story is “I.” Imagine that you are your language arts or English teacher. Write a diary entry about what happened in school today. Remember to use “I.” © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Point-of-View (66) Imagine that you are a piece of equipment being used in gym class. Write a few paragraphs about your day. Remember to use the first person “I.” Share your writing with a classmate and see if he/she can guess what piece of equipment you are. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Setting (113) The setting is the time and place of a story. The setting is the time and place of a story. It often sets a mood for the whole story. It was a dark and stormy night has become a clichéd opening for mystery and thriller stories. Think about setting and genre, or writing type. If you were going to write historical fiction, what setting might you chose? Write the time period, the climate, the style of dress of your characters, and other clues that reveal your setting. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Plot (114) Plot Plot means the events of a fictional story. Most plots include some kind of conflict, or problem, that the characters have to deal with. For each type of conflict below, invent a specific conflict that you think could be the center of an interesting story. TYPES OF CONFLICTSPECIFIC CONFLICT IDEAS Person against person Person against himself/herself Person against nature Person against technology © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher 114
Setting (138) The setting is the time and place of a story. The setting is the time and place of a story. One mistake that sometimes spoils a setting is the appearance of an anachronism. An anachronism is something that is out of its time. For example, a car driving through the countryside to announce the coming of the British troops during the American Revolution would be an anachronism. Write a scene containing an anachronism that makes the setting seem false. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Characters (116) Characters are people Characters are people who appear in a story. Read the paragraph below. Pay attention to how the main character is characterized. After a few minutes of fuming, May Ling lifted her square chin to look in the mirror. She blinked with surprise at her flushed face. She re-combed her part so that it neatly bisected her dark head. She took a deep breath, counted to five, and exhaled. She pulled her precious books out from under her bed where she had kicked them and set them squarely on the corner of her desk. After choosing a color-coded mechanical pencil from the desk drawer, she began brainstorming about the language arts paper that was due next week. Now describe May Ling. What does she look like? What are some personality traits? What is important to her? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Characters (117) One way to characterize a character is to show how she or he behaves. One way to characterize a character is to show how she or he behaves. In movies, writers cannot say what anyone is like; they show it with images of the character doing something. Think about a character from a favorite movie. Imagine that you have been hired to write a book based on the movie. Write a character sketch, capturing the qualities of that character in words. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Point-of-View (67) When writing in the first person When writing in the first person, you can explain and describe everything the narrator (“I”) is thinking, feeling, and doing. This gives you the chance to really show the character. This point-of-view has limitations, however. With the 1 st person, you cannot explain what other characters are thinking or feeling. You can only report what “I” can see. That means that if “I” is asleep while there is some action going on, the reader has to learn about it when the narrator does. Another common point-of-view is third person. This means that someone outside the story narrates it. Think about the last three novels you read. From what point of view was each written? How did the point-of-view affect or limit the story? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Setting (141) Write an interesting setting Write an interesting setting for a short story. Switch papers with a classmate. Write a very short story( three to five paragraphs) using the setting your partner listed. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Point-of-View (68) Read the following news report about an accident: Read the following news report about an accident: This morning at 9:00, two cars collided on Main Street. A blue sedan driven by Tim Walker was stopped at the light at Main and Hudson streets. Marlene Hansen was traveling sown Main Street when she slowed down to avoid a cat in the road. As Ms. Hansen accelerated, Mr. Walker hit her passenger side. No injuries were reported. Imagine that you are Mr. Walker. Tell your side of the story, in the first person. Then imagine that you are Ms. Hansen, and tell your version of the story. When you have finished, reread the two eyewitness versions of the accident. Can they both be true? How does point-of-view affect even a “factual” account? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar teacher Mr. Stepp A noun is a word that names a person, a place, an object or an idea. Nouns can be common or proper; that is, they can name any object, or a very specific object. For example, teacher is a common noun. Mr. Stepp is a proper noun. Proper nouns are always capitalized. List five common nouns that name someone or something you see every day. Now list five proper nouns that name someone or something you see every day. What does including the proper nouns (besides names of characters) do for a piece of writing? How does it help the reader? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Writing Descriptions often rely on the sense of sight. But you have four other senses you can draw on to create images for your readers. The sense of smell is considered our most nostalgic sense; particular smells can conjure up scenes from the past. Think about a scent that has some meaning or association for you. The describe the scent and the feelings it brings up. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar I, we, you, he, she, theyit Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. Personal pronouns include I, we, you, he, she, they, and it. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate personal pronoun from the list above. 1. _____ ate breakfast before _____ brushed my teeth. 2. Jack borrowed my CD, but _____ never returned it. 3. Tyrone gave Jeanie a pencil, but _____ would have preferred a pen. 4. Alex gave Lizzie his pencil because _____ prefers pens. Look back at your answers. How did you know which pronouns to write? How can you ensure that you use the correct pronouns in your writing? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar - Modifiers On her way to the gym, the dog chased Maria. On her way to the gym, the dog chased Maria. The sentence suggests that the dog was sidetracked on her way to the canine fitness center by a tempting target. The meaning of the sentence could be made clearer by moving the modifier closer to what it is modifying: On her way to the gym, Maria was chased by the dog. Another way to fix the sentence is to reword it: Maria was on her way to the gym when the dog chased her. Rewrite the following sentences to clarify or change the meaning. 1. While driving to the store, the dog slobbered on his owner’s jacket. 2. The skiers swooshed past the lodge blinded by the storm. 3. He said he would go first, then he changed his mind and stayed home. 4. Before finishing her rounds, Suzanne asked the doctor for some advice. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Troublesome Words The following words are often misused. On the line next to each vocabulary word, write the letter of the correct definition from the box. If you are not sure of a meaning, check the dictionary. a. to receivee. to influence; to act onh. to invent b. Other thanf. Resulti. spectacle; view c. To offer counselg. A thing used for a j. Location d. Suggestion for specific function action __1. accept___5. device___8. except __2. advise___6. devise___9. site __3. affect___7. advice__10. effect __4. sight © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar my, mine, our, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, and theirs. Possessive pronouns show possession, or ownership. These include my, mine, our, ours, your, yours, his, hers, its, and theirs. Rewrite the following paragraph using personal pronouns in place of some of the nouns. Esther loved playing Esther’s clarinet. Although Esther was talented, Esther lacked the discipline to practice every day. Esther’s dream was to play professionally. Esther’s parents worried that Esther’s parent’s daughter would not reach Esther’s goal if Esther did not work harder. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Writing The sense of touch is one that is often overlooked. You can appeal to the sense of touch by describing an object’s temperature, heaviness or lightness, and texture, for example. Telling what kind of material something is made of also helps with the touch image. Write a description of one of the following items, appealing to the sense of touch: a paperback book your favorite food a fun sport © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar Run, walk, chew, study, sleep Am, is, was, have, do own Verbs are words that show action or state of being. Run, walk, chew, study, and sleep are all verbs. Am, is, was, have, do and own are verbs too. Make a list of ten verbs that describe some action you have engaged in today. Choose verbs more interesting than forms of to be! © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. Adjectives add detail and interest to writing. Insert at least five adjectives in the paragraph below. Make other changes if necessary. Justin wrote an essay about his vacation. It was three pages long. His topic was broad enough to fill the space, but it was not very interesting. It would have been more fun to read if he had described the people he met, the places he saw, and the things he did. Instead, he just talked about the things he ate. Which version of the paragraph do you prefer—with or without adjectives? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Troublesome Words Part of writing well is using vocabulary correctly. Which sentence is correct? A. I will have to altar my plans if I want to go to the concert. B. He altered his suit after he took up body building. Altaralter The answer is B. Altar and alter are a pair of often confused words. There are many such words in English. For each pair of sentences below, circle the letter of the correct sentence. If you are not sure which is correct, check a dictionary. 1a. Susan sat down on the steps and began to cry. b. Ella set down next to her to find out what was wrong. 2a. He set his book too close to the fire. b. Then he set and stared at the charred remains. 3a. Beth raised her hand in class. b. The elephant rose its trunk in greeting. 4a. The flames rose from the dry wood. b. The smoke raised in billowing clouds. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Writing A sense of taste is one of that is only used occasionally in descriptions, because you only taste a limited number of things. Think of something that you would not normally eat but would not be harmful to taste. Describe that item (without actually tasting it). For example, a rock might taste metallic and earthy, or a tire might taste of oil and tar. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar Adjectives help make a description more specific and real to the reader. Adjectives can appeal to any of the senses to help the reader experience what the writer is talking about. sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch Choose an object in your classroom. Write one adjective for each of the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) to describe that object. Then exchange lists with a classmate and see if you can guess each other’s objects. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Grammar snored his snore was loudly Adverbs, like adjectives, modify other words. Some adverbs modify verbs; for example, he snored loudly. Other adverbs modify adjectives, as in his snore was very loud. Some adverbs modify other adverbs. He snored quite loudly is an example. Write a paragraph about a hobby, sport, or interest of yours. Explain how you do this activity, using at least three adverbs. When you have finished, cross out the adverbs in your paragraph, and read the paragraph to yourself. What do you think of the paragraph with no adverbs? Do you prefer the paragraph with adverbs, or without? Why? © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
Writing Think about an object or quality unique to the area where you live. Imagine that you work for a travel agency, and you are writing a brochure to attract visitors to your area. Write a description of the unique object or quality to include in your brochure. © 2003 J. Weston Walch, Publisher
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