This week, we are growing our everyday vocabulary and adding rich language to our compositions. Today, we "laid our ordinary words to rest" and vowed to honor them by using their sparkling synonyms from now on. Yes, SAID is now DEAD. Why settle for said when we can be powerfully precise with words like whispered, muttered, questioned, and screamed?
We also practiced using "red flag words" (transition words) to guide our readers through the sequence of our writing. Go ahead and play a transition ball game at home tonight. (We played in class today.) Take turns telling a story from beginning to and use your best transitions to move through time. Use vivid word choice and have fun as
Since we have a reading benchmark tomorrow, please get a good night's rest and bring a clean and healthy snack tomorrow. Remember to bring your water bottle too! Staying hydrated helps our brains to work the best!
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This week we are focusing in on the trait that brings our writing to life: VOICE. When authors write with voice, their tone sounds identifiable. Sometimes, we sound excited. Other times, we may sound concerned, sad, embarrassed, knowledgeable, or happy. Whatever our tone may be, our stories are always believable, and we always sound like experts.
When writing stories, general descriptions don't give a clear picture. Great fourth grade authors use specific descriptions, feelings, thoughts, and the five senses to "paint a picture" for the reader.
Check out these two examples. What a difference!
Ordinary example: My bedroom was messy.
Revision: I looked around my messy room. Dirty clothes were thrown on the floor. Potato chips crunched under my feet as I walked across the room. My bed was covered with papers and school assignments. I wrinkled my nose at the smell of souring milk from the cup that sat on my bedside table.
For homework this evening, choose two "show me" sentences and write descriptions that dazzle the reader. Type your best example in the comments section of this blog. Happy Writing!
Planning your writing is an essential part of writing. Therefore, this week's class lessons are focused around the trait of organization. We are reviewing our graphic organizers for writing personal narratives, such as the time line and plot hill, and boxes and bullets to use with our expository essays.
Monday Homework: Using last week's narrow the topic homework, choose one seed story idea and organize your story into a time line and plot hill. Star the most important moment and explode the moment on a separate sheet of paper. (Show, Don't Tell!)
Wednesday Homework: Using last week's box and bullet homework, choose three central ideas. On a lined sheet of paper, write an introduction and conclusion paragraph for each.
Don't forget--Valentine ♥NTF♥ is due Thursday.
This week our class is focusing on the IDEAS trait of writing. We will practice choosing small "seed" stories to write in detail. The story we decide to write is an important element of our personal narrative. We choose to write about memories that were important and/or significant to us. What is it that we want the reader to know from reading our stories? We call this importance the "heart of the story" or theme. When we have difficulty finding the important moment of a story, we use a "narrow the topic" map, a.k.a a cone/funnel map. Place the big (watermelon) idea on top and continue to go smaller inside the memory until you find the moment that is special. For example: Disney World >> Magic Kingdom >> Space Mountain >> The first time I rode Space Mountain. Theme: I was hooked on roller coasters from the beginning! Once we have a great idea in mind, we're ready to plan out a story our readers are sure to remember!
Tonight's homework: Complete the Narrative A-Z Brainstorm and the Narrow the Topic Brainstorm (Yes, both sides!) Cursive was also assigned and is due Thursday.