Often, they are also unaware of how the things they are interested in are connected to each other-hence, the idea of an Enthusiasm Map see Figure 2. Fitz became pregnant with twins and fueled rumors that Andrea and I were actually expecting twins and our kids got to name their own characters: The name that seems to have stuck in my classroom is Flash Nonfiction.
They asked if I could start the following week. It sometimes helps to remind them to add to this list on a regular basis, at the start of class every Monday or Friday, for example. I will sometimes assign an essay to come from a specific "sphere" so that we can discuss how the "size" of the topic influences how you write about that topic.
Students need to know that they have plenty of opportunities to write outside the realm of tests. As a cartoonist, I have a sketch pad where I jot down ideas for strips or series of strips as well as doodles. If the military and war are national issues, they are also personal issues if you have a sibling deployed overseas.
Musicians have finger exercises; singers do vocal warms-ups; visual artists have sketchbooks. I ask students to set aside a page at the front of their notebooks the fronts of their notebooks are very crowded and keep an ongoing list of possible writing topics-this in addition to things that they may already have thought of on their various maps.
One thing we note when working on this list is that some issues can fall into more than one sphere and some perhaps the best ones to write about can be both national and personal. Usually, I explain the Flash Nonfiction assignment and give students about five to ten minutes to complete it, depending on the length.
When students know their enthusiasms, they can write about them all in different ways. TV usage, chores, which way the toilet paper should face. Flash Nonfiction In some ways, you are continually "setting the stage" for student writers.
I was not syndicated yet and still am not-- the syndicates have turned me down 4 or 5 timesso fame and fortune on a vast scale have never followed, but I began building an online presence and Mr. We were supposed to draw a picture of what to do if the school is on fire. As a class, we delve into this list whenever they need an expository topic.
Have students start by writing their name at the center of a blank piece of paper that is turned sideways. They can even defend their enthusiasms when they come under attack. I also keep a list like this myself, and I sometimes share it with them. It creates a centralized place for students to go and find provocative things to write about.
These sketches and initial ideas never make it into the newspaper like my finished comic strips, but they contribute to the quality of those finished strips.
Ongoing Topics List As the year progresses, I ask students to begin looking for topics everywhere. If you focus on writing exercises mainly as a way to better test scores rather than to better writers, you defeat both purposes, and neither test scores nor writers themselves are likely to improve.
Our daughter, who paints, writes poetry, and could probably go into standup comedy, is currently attending Daytona State College.
I said yes, and Mr. Then have them draw lines out to major categories and then subcategories of interests. The purpose of writing exercises I provide throughout this book is first and foremost to hone their real-world writing skills; the test is incidental.
I also played Whack-a-Mole at a local arcade, but drawing was a more constructive outlet. Writing can help students begin to extend those circles outward.
I tell them to remind me of it if I start talking about The Test too much. I had thought of calling them "Writing Sketches," but that lacked something-probably alliteration. For example, I may ask them to pick out the best detail, find the most vivid verbs, or make one suggestion for a place that needs more detail.
I model it for students on the board or overhead before I have them do it. Issues that interest me, bug me. In my classroom I try to duplicate, as closely as possible, the conditions that real writers work under. I ask my students to update their map periodically since they may be developing new interests.
My first was about a dog inexplicably named Poochey. Students keep this list at the front of their language arts notebooks, and we refer to it throughout the year.He provides rubrics to set clear expectations as well as samples essays that serve as models for students.
Writing Extraordinary Essays: Every Middle Schooler Can!
by David Lee Finkle. David Lee Finkle began his writing and cartooning career in Kindergarten during fire safety week, when he was asked to draw a picture of what students should do if the school catches fire and in response drew a picture of children roasting marshmallows over the smouldering embers of the school.
Writing Extraordinary Essays: Every Middle. Writing Extraordinary Essays: Every Middle Schooler Can shared David Lee Finkle Author, Cartoonist's post.
· January 20 · David Lee Finkle Author, Cartoonist. January 20 · Had a great time teaching creative non-fiction to the students at HATS today.
In Writing Extraordinary Essays, I have a chapter about Clunker Clinic -a revision. David Lee Finkle David Lee Finkle shares a fresh approach to teaching essay writing. Using real essays, Finkle has students explore the variety of organizational patterns and techniques essay. Writing Extraordinary Essays: Every Middle Schooler Can.
59 likes. The time has come to move students beyond the five paragraph formula essay. This book.
Writing Extraordinary Essays, David Lee Finkle Finding the Heart of Nonfiction, by Georgia Heard Treasures Phonics/ Spelling Practice Book (Resource CD), Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.Download