Saturday, March 31, 2012

Writing Leads

In my class, we tend to compare writing to food. For my vegetarians, we compare it to an ice cream cone. A story with a missing beginning or ending might be just a cone. A story with a nice beginning and okay middle might be a one scoop vanilla cone. A story with a great beginning, middle, and end might be a vanilla cone with sprinkles. A story with all of that plus great figurative language, dialogue, and paragraphing might be a triple scoop strawberry cone with sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry on top! Click the picture to download from Mrs. Guillo's TPT!

For my non-vegetarians, we also use the cheeseburger analogy - is it missing the beginning and / or end? If so then, it doesn't have a bun. If it's missing the middle, it might be just the bun and no meat. If it's spectactular, it has cheese, pickles, onions, and ketchup! Otherwise, the writing might leave us "hungry" and wanting more. Get the idea? (This example only goes to a 4. Our report cards and reading series use a 4, but our state uses a 5...looks like everyone needs to get on the same page with common core!)

 My favorite mentor texts for leads include the I Survived Pack from Scholastic.

Click each picture to read excerpts.

The three books in this pack include:

"Barry! Barry!"
Dad was pounding down the stairs. He splashed through the water, grabbed Barry by the arm, lifting him up, and pulled him toward the staircase. Furniture and other objects floated around them like bath toys - the new couch Mom had saved for a year to buy, the little square lamp table where Gramps used to play chess, framed pictures of Barry and Cleo from school. The water was rising fast! It was up to Barry's waist by the time they reached the stairs - and it kept getting higher. It was like their house was a bucket being filled by the biggest hose in the world. 

Elm Hills, New Jersey in the Matawan Creek

A feeling of terror came over ten-year-old Chet Roscow, a chill deep down in his bones. He had been swimming in the Matawan Creek by himself. But he had an idea that someone - or something - was watching him.

     George whispered those words like a prayer, over and over in his mind. He thought of Mr. Andrews, of how sure he was of this ship.
      But he no longer stared at that water, that foaming green water, rising higher every second, the more certain he became: The Titanic was in trouble.

There is also other single books that haven't made their way into the pack yet -

What are your favorite writing resources?

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