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Week 5

One of my goals this year is to not only have students write more  but to have students have more choice in what they write about.  Since we already wrote an informative essay, I decided to focus on narrative writing.  Of course, this means I must teach imagery, diction, and figurative language!  We read  "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan and analyzed the author's use of literary techniques and devices.  We also looked at the structure of the text.  Students enjoyed the story and it was an excellent example of  descriptive writing and story telling.

Next, I showed students this picture:  

Students had to describe the picture. However, they were not allowed to use the following words: woman, stroller, trash, garbage, or baby. They were given the option of taking on the persona of one of the characters, describing the scene as a passerby, or just describing the picture itself. One student wrote as though she were attending an art exhibit and saw this picture. It was amazing!

After class students completed an exit slip giving me their thoughts about the activity. Here are a few of their responses:

"Today's activity was useful because it helped me to use good diction to tell what was going." 

"Today's activity was fun and creative."

"Today's activity was useful. It helped me learn to use alliteration and imagery."

"I wish I had more time to write."

The next day students brainstormed a list of writing topics and picked one to write about. The topics for inspiration were a childhood game, childhood place, or a hard time. I modeled the process by writing about a handball game I played against my best friend in second-grade. Let's just say my friend ended up with claw marks on her arms and a little less hair, and I ended up losing my recess! I will share some of the students' gems next week! By the way, this is the only fight I have ever been in in my entire life!

Below are some pictures of one of our "Brain Breaks." Ask kids about listening to music and Mrs. Karney yelling out numbers. I am a firm believer in giving kids breaks; it seems to help them focus better and have a more positive attitude!

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