How to Write Your Life Story by Ralph Fletcher The narrator begins by telling readings what a story is and explaining important story elements. Myths about writing life stories are presented, followed a an array of activities to get started on writing one’s life story. Some activities include: making a map of your neighborhood, or creating a “heart” map. The author interviews several famous authors and gains their perspective on writing. The interviewed authors include: Jack Gantos, Jerry Spinelli, and Kathi Appelt. This book not only explains the various forms of personal histories, but also tries to help readers determine what to write about.
Word After Word After Word by Particia MacLachlan When Ms. Mirabel, a famous writer, comes into a fourth grade class for a several weeks, she not only shares with students why writers write, she inspires the students to write. With her unique teaching and personality, she reaches the students and motivates them to write. Five friends quickly take to Ms. Mirabel and as they meet daily, they discuss their class and what they are going to write about. Using their lives as inspiration, the students create beautiful poems, which they share with their acting teacher and later with their families. As they write, the friends grow and learn about themselves and they share that insight with their families when they read the student’s poetry. This is a great way to teach young writers to write, as it not only gives ideas for writing and why writers write, but it also has many examples of the students writing and the connection from their lives to their writing.
Painless Junior Grammar by M. McClarnon Shakespeare the Chicken is your personal tour guide through a magical theme park called Grammar World. As the journey begins, the book introduces sentence structure, then moves on to the various parts of speech, and ends with mechanics. Within each chapter, the reader will get a brief lesson on a certain topic or skill. Then, Shakespeare provides practice and tricks to remember for each topic. Each lesson is fun and entertaining, with text relating to the magical adventures that occur at Grammar World. An answer key is included at the end of the book to help reinforce student learning.
Once Upon a Time: Writing Your Own Fairy Tale by N. Loewen Teaching students how to write a fairy tale can be challenging, but using this book can ease the process. The story of Little Red Riding Hood is used as an example of a fairy tale and is examined to teach students the “tools” of a fairy tale. As the story of Little Red Riding Hood is told, tools are introduced and explained with examples from the story. The book lists 13 tools in total throughout the telling of the tale. At the end of the book, all the tools are put together as a review. In addition, there are some “getting started” writing activities, writing tips, and a glossary.
‘Twas a Dark and Stormy Night by J. Murray To tell why writer’s write, this book goes through the various genres of writing and reasons why a person might write. Throughout the book popular authors are mentioned, along with how they began their writing careers. Using vocabulary and “book ingredients” to explain parts of a book, and help the readers understand important jargon associated with writing a book, this book has much to offer to future writers.
Ace Writing: http://writing-for-kids.com/ http://writing-for-kids.com/ This site is somewhat like a writing tutor. It defines writing conventions and provides online activities and teaching lessons. There are also quizzes that go with many of the various conventions. The site also goes through the writing process in detail and has worksheets and organizers to aid in the writing process. There are also links to games and web resources for both teachers and students.
Edina 6 Traits of Writing – OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Elementary Students. http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/concor d/teacherlinks/sixtraits/sixtraits.html http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/concor d/teacherlinks/sixtraits/sixtraits.html This site lists the 6 traits of writing for elementary students and provides links and activities to use when teaching each one. Some of the links would not work; however, the majority of the links were helpful and the main activity could be used as a good mini lesson for each trait. There were also links for both teachers and students to use to assist in the writing process.
Internet4Classrooms http://internet4classrooms.com/lang _elem_index.htm http://internet4classrooms.com/lang _elem_index.htm This site has wonderful links to various games and activities for students to use. You can find grammar games, handwriting activities, editing practice. You can print some activities and some are interactive. Under the language arts resources you can also find various writing resources to use with teaching writing, developing lesson plans, poetry resources, friendly letter writing, and prewriting activities. Those are just some of the many topics available.
Room 108 Kid’s Writing http://www.netrover.com/~kingskid/ writing/Kids_Writing.html http://www.netrover.com/~kingskid/ writing/Kids_Writing.html This site has games for spelling, grammar, and writing. Students select their topic and they are taken to a new page with various games to choose from. The games are animated and fun for students to use as a learning activity.
WitingFix http:///writingfix.com/ http:///writingfix.com/ This site has everything you need to know about writing. You can find your six traits of writing mini lessons, writing prompts, writing lessons, games and lessons for the different parts of speech, and so much more. You can also find lessons for teaching the various writing genres and get ideas for teaching writing across the curriculum. There are so many resources on this site you may not have to go anywhere else to teach writing. Student samples and teacher support are available on this site as well.
Activities Students can create a voice thread of their story, dictating it prior to writing Students can create a photobook, using http://www.pimpampum.net/bookr/, of their life story, using text and pictures. http://www.pimpampum.net/bookr/ Students can create multimedia stories, using images, sound, and text, and then share their stories with friends or post to blogs and social networking sites using http://showbeyond.com/show/home. http://showbeyond.com/show/home Students can create a neighborhood map, using http://quikmaps.com/ to show specific landmarks or locations in their neighborhood. This will provide them with their own unique setting for their story. http://quikmaps.com/ Students can make a Wordle (www.wordle.com) of synonyms for specific words to enhance word choice, or use as a brainstorming activity.www.wordle.com Students can establish an email dialogue between students from different schools who are reading the same text.