Another strategy we can use to uncover more to say about our seed ideas is by studying published texts that are like what we are trying to write. These texts not only help us see what other writers write about but also help us begin to notice craft strategies (punctuation, sentence structures, ways to use words well, paragraphing, etc…) that can help us assemble our ideas. Included in the resources below you will find several examples of personal stories that can be used to support students in nurturing their seed ideas. Students should already be familiar with these stories so that when you ask them to notice some things the writer has done well, they will have already appreciated the story as a reader. This will allow students to focus more on the writer’s craft. They can begin to notice ways in which the writer is conveying meaning, and make theories about why a writer may have made certain decisions in their writing.
The story Slower Than the Rest by Cynthia Rylant has comments included that can be used as a resource when you are teaching students to look at how writers have crafted text. In the notebook entry below I have tried one of same craft moves Cynthia Rylant has done in her writing. I attempted to add action along with dialogue to create meaning in my entry.
Read through Cynthia Rylant’s story Slower Than the Rest. Notice the craft moves that have been highlighted, then try to find one or two more craft moves in the story.
Think of a notebook entry you could make that uses one of these craft moves.
Read through another story provided below. Try to notice some craft moves and make a hypothesis about why the author chose to do that.Previous Chapter
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