Models of Writing
I compose short passages of writing myself to model for the kids how writing can work. This is something I find quite hard to do, but I really enjoy the results. Modelling my writing is powerful stuff and has been one of the most effective ways I've found of increasing their output, their vocab level, their use of plot, emotion, opinion and humour, and the thought they put into their stories. It also gives them a 'ballpark' to aim for, and for those with no clue. a springboard off which to bounce their own ideas. Most of the pieces are short. I try not to go over 250 words and I'll have a teaching point in mind when I write. Eg. bold beginnings, cutting out the boring stuff, capturing a moment, using descriptive language. Often the topics have been pulled from ideas in my writer's notebook or from classroom and community events.