Walk Around in the Author’s Syntax...

Nov 5, 2009 by

Writing Trait/Strategy: Sentence fluency; conventions Mentor Text Suggestions: The Whale’s Song by Dyan Sheldon Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz Shortcut by Donald Crews Description: This strategy, described in Mentor Texts by Dorfman and Cappelli, is an effective way to help students try out a variety of sentence structures and help them begin to internalize language conventions. Lift an excerpt from a text such as the example below from Shortcut by Donald Crews: I HEAR A TRAIN!” Everybody stopped. Everybody listened. We all heard the train whistle. Should we run ahead to the path home or back to the cut-off? Read the passage aloud several times so that students can hear the rhythm of the text. After discussing what they noticed, have students participate in a shared writing experience. Give them the beginning sentence and...

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Paint a Picture

Nov 3, 2009 by

  Writing Trait/Strategy: Word Choice; Sentence Fluency Mentor Text Suggestions: Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan Description: To introduce this technique, select a picture of something from a catalog or magazine. Without showing it to the students, tell them that you have a picture of an “amazing car”, “a cute puppy,” “an awesome bicycle,” or whatever. Ask students to form a mental image of it and then draw a picture of it. If they ask for more details, give them adjectives like neat, great, fantastic, delicious. After giving them time to draw, show them the actual picture and compare. Students will realize that you did not give...

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