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What’s Beyond the Fence? Using Suspense Writing Mini Lessons to Encourage Elaboration and Organization Lisa Dominy Ida Lee Bright Elementary Frisco, Texas.

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Presentation on theme: "What’s Beyond the Fence? Using Suspense Writing Mini Lessons to Encourage Elaboration and Organization Lisa Dominy Ida Lee Bright Elementary Frisco, Texas."— Presentation transcript:

1 What’s Beyond the Fence? Using Suspense Writing Mini Lessons to Encourage Elaboration and Organization Lisa Dominy Ida Lee Bright Elementary Frisco, Texas NSTWP 2006 Teaching Demonstration

2 What is Suspense? Understanding our Schema Spend a few minutes writing your feelings about SUSPENSE! (Depending on your students ages and abilities this could be done as a small group activity or even a whole group activity). –Where have you seen suspense? –How does it make you feel? –What is it? –How have you taught it to your students? –How would you explain it to your students? –How have you seen your students using it? Share your thoughts about suspense with your table mates.

3 This is in the TEKS? WRITING/PURPOSES. The student writes for a variety of audiences, purposes, and in various forms. (14.0) write to discover, develop, and refine ideas (1-3).[14.B] write to communicate with a variety of audiences (1-3).[14.C] WRITING/GRAMMAR/USAGE. The student composes meaningful text applying knowledge of grammar and usage. (17.0) compose sentences with interesting, elaborated subjects (2-3).[17.C] WRITING/WRITING PROCESSES. The student selects and uses writing processes for self-initiated and assigned writing. (18.0) generate ideas for writing by using prewriting techniques such as drawing and listing key thoughts (2- 3).[18.A] revise selected drafts for varied purposes, including to achieve a sense of audience, precise word choices, and vivid images (1-3).[18.C] WRITING/EVALUATION. The student evaluates his/her own writing and the writing of others. (19.0) identify the most effective features of a piece of writing using criteria generated by the teacher and class (1-3).[19.A]

4 Experts say… Phyllis Whitney (1982) states, “Keeping curiosity high by dangling a carrot in front of the reader is the way to [create suspense], though this can be tricky to manage.” Charles Dickens was quoted as saying, “You must make them laugh, make them weep, but above all, make them wait!” Mariconda (1999) says, “Before they can learn how to create suspense, children must be able to recognize it and understand its function within a piece of writing.

5 Experts Continued Mariconda (1999) explains that raising story questions, “… involve getting inside the main character’s head and viewing the story situation from that character’s point of view. This enables the reader to wonder and worry along with the main character.” When discussing word referents, Mariconda states, “…teases the reader by holding back some piece of critical information. The reader reads on to discover the missing piece.”

6 Why Mini Lessons? Breaks strategies into manageable components Allows you to continue writing workshop Helps students to see how strategies can be applied to various topics, genres, and styles of writing. Easy to eliminate and/or add mini lessons and strategies based on students needs Helps with elaboration and organization throughout their writing Flexible

7 Suddenly... Defining suspense with pictures… Read Suddenly by Colin McNaughton Stop and describe the page. Group brainstorm and share schema: How does this story fit in with what we wrote about Suspense? McNaughton, C. (1994). Suddenly!. Great Britain: Anderson Press Limited.

8 Examining Examples in Literature Excerpt from Picnic at Mudsock Meadow by Patricia Polacco. Revisit and examine our previous brainstorming. Polacco, P. (1992). Picnic at mudsock meadow. New York: G.P.Putnam’s Sons.

9 Visualizing to Prewrite Take a few minutes to draw something that is “beyond the fence” on the back side of the paper. I tell my students to begin with pencil and move to crayons and colored pencils. Add words around your illustration to describe it. (You can use adjectives, similes, etc…).

10 Raising Story Questions Questions? What sort of questions? Inspiration web of ways to question using the five senses. Let’s raise some questions of our own using sticky notes. How can questioning assist us in writing with suspense?

11 Magic of Three Time for a finger play… Little Red Riding Hood How did the story establish suspense? Magic of Three = Reaction, Reaction, Discovery Pons-Ivanoff, S. (1998). Little red riding hood: Little puppet theater. Tulsa: Council Oak Books.

12 Magic of Three Interactive writing with dramatization. __________ saw a lion on the path. How can we react? Check by acting it out...

13 Magic of Three Now let’s try using our own illustrations and previously brainstormed questions. Walk around and think-aloud- I tell my students that if they prefer me not sharing their writing aloud, raise your hand while I am touring writing. Stop before we tell our discovery, just raise questions

14 It’s Time to Reveal, or is it? Small groups brainstorm “word referents”. What are “word referents” How can we describe the lion from our previous writing? Incorporating “word referents” into our writing.

15 Where do we go from here? Adding introductions, conclusions, and fleshing out our writing. Refer back to Picnic at Mudsock Meadow. Are we done? Do we have to revise, edit, and publish?

16 Student Examples Interactive write example Illustration and sticky note examples Journal integration Suspense writing examples

17 Student Examples One day I was riding my bike with a friend. Then we here something we wonder what it is”? “Wosh, what was that runing by?” “Crunch, crunch” wow what, did you here that? No it’s prodoly just your imaganashon (gulp) I hope”. “I dare you to go closer”. “fine I will”! So then I got closer and I here something it went mmmmmm! It sonded so scary then I herd it again. I creepd closer and closer. I ddddaaarrr yyyou ttto gggo overrr the ffcence. “fine I will and with a runing start I jumped over the fcence and then I saw it I couldnent belive my eyes. And then I fanted. My eyes opend and I coud have sworn I saw a wolf but it was just a brown thing. I looked up and the brown thing must have been abanded. So I played with her and when I went back over the fence she dug a hole under the fence and got out. Then it hit me the brown thing was a dog! So I ran home. The Dog folled me home then I begged my mom to keep her. I told her she was abanded. So she let me keep her.

18 Student Examples When I was wakling Home I herd a growl and I thing it was a dog but I Tiptoe to de fence Then I herd a growl again and I feld scard. I was scard and I saw saliva I saw big and hary and stinci and with red eyes and I saw it was big and it had a tail and it was a monstore. I went to touch it was nice and dint growl to me it never had loked at a girl. He leked me then saw a boy the monster growld and went awa then I cried because I want him to be my frend I will remmber This day.

19 Student Examples I was walking I was going past a fense and I herd a noise. I stop walking. So I stod there and I wanerd what that nosie was. I herd a crunch cruch cruch nosie. I worerd if it was someones pet dog eating some treats. Then tahts when I saw balls being jugled in the air, but I did not see the arms. Awha So I toght it was a person who was a perainial jugler and giving his dog treats at the same time. So I sarted to walk again. Then I herd woom sound I sated to get tiny bumps all over me. I sarted to tip toe but I could’t keep my balance because I was shiverg like a relly bad rian storn dizzing super hard. Sunddly I smell the smell of a cookie but I wonderd what it was. Then I got closer I herd rub, rub noise then I tripped over a log rolled through a lose part (of the fence) and there it was. It was a huge prat animal, cooke smelling, and good at jugling monster. So I went a little bit closer I saw it was a giant cooke thing. I took more foot steps and there was more of them then I stped back. I rean out the fence and they all said bye. Then I siad bye back and it was less scary then I thought. Then I went home but I didn’t tell there was cookes living at are street because there endangered.

20 Extensions Dramatizations Incorporating into personal narratives, expository, and other genres Analyze literature from various authors and compare the use of suspense Compare suspense in literature to a dramatic interpretation- Example: Cam Jansen Using word referents to elaborate Questioning

21 References Whitney, P. A. (1982). Guide to fiction writing. Boston: The Writer, Inc. Mariconda, B. (1999). The most wonderful writing lessons ever: Everything you need to teach the essential elements-and the magic-of good writing. New York: Scholastic Professional Books. Fletcher, R. & Portalupi, J. (2001). Writing Workshop: The essential guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Piazza, C. L. (2003). Journeys: The teaching of writing in elementary classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Sudol, D., Sudol, P. (1995). Yet another story: Writers’ workshop revisited. Language Arts, 72(3), 171. Retrieved June 12, 2006, from ProQuest database. (Document ID: ).


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