Chapter 8: Where Do I Start?

So you’re excited about writing, but not sure where to start?  Here is a 6-week plan to get you going!blast-07-01

Week 1:  Get ready for successful writing! 

  • Set up your family writing area. (See chapter 7)
  • Make your own “Writing Traffic Light” out of construction paper. Hang it where everyone can see it.
  • Go shopping for a writing journal for yourself.
  • Start writing in your journal: make lists, copy quotes, and write entries about ideas, ponderings, or things that are happening in my life.
  • Write in your journal each day. (remember that your journal is a place to catch ideas, that each idea is a seed being planted.)
  • Buy each person a writing folder for current projects and a writing portfolio (3-Ring binder) for all completed projects.

Week 2: Introduce your family or students to successful writing.

  • Explain the “Writing Traffic Light” process.
  • Introduce the writing journal. Go shopping for writing journals for the whole family or encourage your class to each get one.
  • Make lists, copy quotes, write entries about ideas, ponderings, or things that are happening in your life.
  • Encourage your children to write in their journals each day.  Sharing if they want to.
  • Make an example of next week’s writing activity that you can show, before you introduce this activity.

Week 3:   “You are Charming” Activity 

  • Monday: introduce the activity and show the example.  For Beginning and Developing Writers; have them do the project part, then Green Light: WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
  • Tuesday—more writing or Yellow Light: EDIT. 
  • Wednesday & Thursday–Yellow Light: EDIT and rewrite.
  • Friday–Red Light: make it SPARKLE!  Add finishing touches and print it out on nice paper.  
  • Hang finished projects on the wall!
  • Make an example of next week’s writing activity that you can show, before you introduce this activity.

Week 4:  “Hidden Treasure Chart” Activity

  • Make a chart for each child and have a famous detailed painting ready to share.
  • Monday: introduce the activity.  Using the painting, fill the chart in and share your results. Do the activity “Jump into a Painting.” —Green Light:  WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
  • Tuesday: Sharing or more writing. Have kids add more to their story.
  • Wednesday & Thursday–Yellow Light: EDIT and rewrite.
  • Friday–Red Light: make it SPARKLE!  Add finishing touches and print it out on nice paper.  
  • Share your fun stories with someone (Grandparent’s are great!)
  • Look to the next week’s lesson and make the example.

Week 5:  “Ouch” Activity

  • Monday: introduce the activity and show your students a physical scar and tell them how you got it. Have kids draw their scar story and Green Light: WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! begin the writing process.  Make sure and put a band-aid on every drawing!
  • Tuesday: Sharing or more writing. Have kids add more to their story.
  • Wednesday & Thursday–Yellow Light: EDIT and rewrite.
  • Friday–Red Light: make it SPARKLE!  Add finishing touches and print it out on nice paper.  
  • Is your whole family or class writing “Ouch!” stories? Type them up and make a collection.  Staple your stories together, have them bound at the local copy store, or type them up small and save them in a small photo album.
  • Look to the next week’s lesson and make the example.

Week 6:  Transplant an Idea into a “Flip and Fold Book” 

  • Monday: Have your children look through their writing journals.  Is there anything they want to transplant?
  • Each person make a “Flip and Fold Book” (see Activity section) using an idea to be transplanted.
  • Brainstorm what could go on each page. Make a Flip and Fold Book that will serve as a “Sloppy Copy”. Green Light: WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
  • Tuesday: Sharing or more writing. Have kids add more to their story.
  • Wednesday & Thursday–Yellow Light: EDIT and rewrite.  Make as many Flip and Fold books as needed in the EDIT and rewrite steps.
  • Friday–Red Light: make it SPARKLE!  Add finishing touches and print it out on nice paper.  
  • Have each student sit in the Author’s Chair to share his or her book with the others.
  • Put students completed books in a basket and keep them handy for fun reading!

After six weeks, hopefully by now you and your children are enjoying writing with the “Writing Traffic Light” and have seen great success!  Celebrate your writing! 

Choose your next activities from the “Activities Section” and keep transplanting ideas out of your writing journal!  Continue to WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! on Monday or Tuesday, EDIT on Tuesday through Thursday, and SPARKLE on Friday!  The more children (and You) write, the better writers they (and You) become.

 

 

 

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