Sunday, November 3, 2013

Spooky Writing

There's nothing quite like Halloween to inspire creative writing.  Our class took advantage of this spooky season to generate some narrative stories.

First, the students learned how to "hook their reader" by incorporating "sound" as part of their entertaining beginnings.  Using this haunted house image as inspiration, students quickly brainstormed different sounds that could be associated with this picture.  Various sounds and ideas such as "Squeeaak! The front door slowly opened" or "Creak! The stairs made loud noises as I walked up tot he door" and "Ohhhhh! Ahhh! I heard the moaning of ghosts from inside the home." became the opening sentences of student narratives. 

Sharing the creature
Next on the Narrative Writing Diamond after Entertaining Beginnings is "Elaborative Detail." This technique asks the writer to stop the action and describe in 'detail' a character, setting or object using the 5 senses.  To aid in this process the students first brainstormed the types of creatures which might appear at this house on Halloween.   This would fit nicely with our theme of Halloween.  However, it had to be something more special than just drawing a creature.

In comes Wonderopolis and a quick lesson on Totem Poles.  Students each fashioned a Halloween creature to use as part of their writing project, which would then be placed with their classmates' creatures to create a Halloween Totem Pole. We modeled how to write an Elaborative Detail segment and then students had the opportunity to add to their Spooky stories. 

It was exciting watching students' creatures and stories come to life!  Here is part of Michaela's first draft:  Squeak! A little mouse ran by just as I looked up and saw an old run down house.  As we came closer to the old house the scarier it seemed.  My friend said "You go ring the doorbell while I run!" As I was walking up the steps to the unlevel porch, I yelled to my friend "I think I just saw a ghost in one of the dark windows!" I was about to ring the doorbell, but I spotted a black and dark brown creature staring down at me.  It was the size of three apples put together. The creature had a long, shiny wing and bright, round eyes. 



Students:  What was your favorite part of the writing lesson?

Others:  What creatures can you see in our totem poles?

 

10 comments:

  1. My favorite part of writing the stories was creating the Halloween creatures.

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    1. Hi Kate - I was thinking that creating the totem creatures was going to be the best part. For me, the best part was listening to all of you share what you had written. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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    2. I also thought the totems were fun and realy neat and i loved all the animals and creatures people created.

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  2. Hi Mrs.Carroll,

    My favorite part of the writing lesson was you can make your own story and your own character (totem pole) I LOVED the idea that we could make our own totem poles and add them in the story and stack them!! Can't wait to finish them! when are we going to take the totem poles home?

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    1. Hi Faith,
      Making a story your own is probably what separates writing from many other subjects we learn about. So glad you enjoyed making the totems - they really look so great. Can you believe I knocked them over? I was so embarrassed but relieved that none of them broke!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  3. Hi Mrs.Carroll,
    I loved making are Halloween creatures ( totem poles) it was fun looking at all the other creatures. I wish we could do it again. Well I have to go. # totem poles





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    1. HI Patrick,
      I love looking at all the creatures too because they are so different. Each one is unique and has great features. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Wow, we love those scary totems! What a fun idea. We would love to read some of the stories.

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    1. Hi Ms. McLean's Class,
      We would love to share our stories with you. We are still working on them. We are going to be adding suspense next. Perhaps we should share in "pieces" and let you predict where the stories will go!
      Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Morgan in mrs. carroll's classNovember 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Morgan,
    my favorite part was when we started with a sound and when we did the totem poles

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