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Mini Lessons to Help Spandel's Writing Traits

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Alicia Martinez

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Mini Lessons to Help Spandel's Writing Traits

Spandel's 6 Writing Traits Ideas
Word Choice
Sentence Fluency
Conventions What can I do to help my students? Ideas for Idea help! Binoculars- Talk about how binoculars help us zoom in on small things. Maybe they can help us make our ideas clearer too!
Start by writing a vague sentence on the board and have students ask questions about that sentence. Make note of all their questions then rewrite your sentence, incorporating all of the students ideas. Now, address any questions that remain. Mini Movies-While reading a book in whole group, hide the pictures and pause. Have students draw a picture of what they imagine this scene to look like. Also have them write a few words they picked out of the text to help them visualize this movie. Then discuss how they can make their writing into movies in someone elses head! Guess the Subject- Give students a variety of poems with the title missing then have student read and analyze the poem. After, have each student come up with a title for it. Discuss major differences in actual title from those they came up with. Focus the Lenses- Draw two circles on the board with smaller circles in the middle. In one circle, write the topic such as "the pool" and in the other "write not at the pool". Have students come and place the magnetic picture cards into the corresponding circles. They will understand how to associate smaller concepts with the overall main idea. Finally have students do another idea individually. Zero in on the Topic- Have students draw a pizza with lots of different toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, ham, ect.). Assign the Pizza to represent a subject such as family. Have students cut out one slice and decide on a single family member represented by that slice. Then have students pick one topping on that slice, this will represent one thing about that family member that will become the main idea of their essay. Show! Don't Tell- Tell students to close their eyes and imagine the sentence you are going to read to them. Read a sentence such as "the baby was adorable," Then discuss what each student imagined. Try this again but read a sentence such as "My cousin is so small, her rosy cheeks make me smile and her soft jet black hair reminds me of my own." Then discuss the contrast in images. ORGANIZATION! Experiment with Leads- Read two leads aloud, one pair at a time, and have students vote for the lead that makes them want to read the story more. Discuss how each lead sets the tone of the rest of the story. Comic Strip Story- Make photo copies of a story and provide a strip of blank boxes. Have students read the text on the given pages and glue them in the sequence they think fits best.
After discuss with students why they placed the pictures as they did. Finally read the story and let students see how close they were! Potential Leads- Writing an appropriate lead is key in obtaining the readers attention. With your students examine different beginnings :Question, Who and Where statements, and dialogue. Also give examples of when and how each might work best using previous books they have read. Wordless Picture Organization- Using a wordless picture book (Zoom by Istvan Banyai is suggested), give each student a copy of a page from the book. Have students sequences the pages. After look at the first and last image discuss how different they are yet how connected the author made them. Use each picture as a stepping stone to the next. Satisfying Endings- Ask students to recall a disappointing ending in a movie or TV show they watched. Now think about what makes a satisfying ending. Discuss techniques appropriate for endings, including: tell how the problem was solved, impress the importance of the subject upon the reader, describe reflective feelings about actions in the story. Then give students sample endings and have them match the ending to the corresponding strategy. Sharpen Your Voice- Have students write examples of text that elicit emotion. Below, have them pick out either key words or strategies that the author used to make them feel that way.
Give each of them a sentence from their own writing where they can apply those skills, and have them rewrite the sentence with a strong voice! Find Your Voice Where Do We Find Voice?- Have students discuss the idea of voice, how it can be used, and places where we see it. Show students books by a single author that have a unifying voice. For example, a few books by David Shannon. Ask them what kind of voice these books have and how they know that.Talk about different expressions of voice using song and read a book with a humorous voice. Hey! It's Me!- Have all students close their eyes and select one student to stand and whisper "Hey! It's Me" then have every one else open their eyes and guess which student said it. Then play a few more times to illustrate the difference in each persons voice. From there discuss how every person's writing has a different voice and read a few examples of writing from authors with familiar voices(ex: principle P.E. Teacher) Follow up by reading student writing and trying to match the writing to the author. How is it Done?- The teacher will present a previously written story to her class (write one that is boring). Work together to have students spice up the story, implementing words and phrases that give the story a teacher's personality and perspective.
Have students take the same boring paragraph and change it to have the personality of a 5-year-old boy make sure the story is on a universal topic such as going to the store or going swimming. Ohh- Write the word "oh" on the board then ask students to respond to the following sentences with the word on the board using the written word. Then say "You just received a present in your homeroom," " You just saw a minor car accident" "You just got the joke your friend told you." Now discuss the use of inflection and emotion in saying the word "oh" with so many different tones. Have them create more scenarios using the word "Woah". Multiple Personalities- Watch the accompanying clip from Grease and have students note where Danny's voice changes and why. Then discuss the appropriateness of voice in relation to your audience. Then have students write 2 emails one email to their friend explaining why they were late to class and another to their parent explaining why they were late to class. David Graves Method- Have students fold a sheet of paper long ways twice creating 4 columns. Then have them write all of their ideas in the last column. After they have finished, have students move each idea into one of the 3 other columns which represent either beginning, middle and end or main idea one, two and three. Word Choice Build a List of Descriptors- Have students write a sentence describing how they feel about a particular subject. Then use one adjective they used to describe their feeling to make a list synonym with input from the class. Make sure the synonyms are stronger and weaker forms of the word. Then use those words throughout their assignment. Spice Up Your Journal Entries- Take a prompt students have already written about in their journals and show your example on the board. Have students underline verbs that could be replaced with better, more specific words then together, brainstorm what would you can replace your originals. Later, have students do the same to their own entries. Said is Dead, Good is Gone, Bad is Banished- Create posters ahead of time with the most commonly used words in your student's writing and have each student come up with a better word with the same meaning. Then in independent reading, have students find a sentence that uses one of their banned words and share with the class how they could change it to reflect a more precise feeling. It's All in the Name- Give students a description of a person, using only age and gender. Have students provide names for this character, then choose 3 names, and have each student draw pictures of each of these character explain how different each is dispite having the same description. Replace Vague Vocabulary with Precise Prose- Give students a worksheet with 10 vague sentences and have them modify each sentence with precise words. Conventions Parts of Paragraphs- They are actually called sentences! Give students a paragraph with no ending punctuation and see if they can decipher individual ideas and place periods where they are appropriate. Rainbow of Worries!- Give groups of students 3 paragraphs that include errors in spelling, commas, and ending marks. Assign each student a color and a specific type of error to correct on all 3 paragraphs.Then together, rewrite the paragraphs using correct conventions. WhIcH oNe Is RiGhT?- After discussing the correct use capitalization in proper nouns, give students the same sentence with different capitalization errors in each; some will have no capitalization, some will have nouns (not proper nouns) capitalized one will have no errors. After, have students create their own question and compile them into a challenge quiz. Ending Punctuation- After cutting out a few periods, exclamation points, and question marks and placing them into paper bags. Divide students into groups of 4, and have one student from each group will draw a card from the bag and create a sentence ending in the corresponding punctuation while other members of the group have to decide what mark they drew from the bag. Onomatopoeia- Have students listen to an audio recording of a thunderstorm, then brainstorm words they could use to describe these sounds. Write the sentence "Johnny was in his room when he heard the storm," then change the storm to one of the onomatopoeias they listed. Pass it on- Have students in groups of three: the first student will write a simple sentence and the second will add 2 details to the sentence. Neither the first nor second person is allowed to use any punctuation (other than ending marks). It is the 3rd person's job to punctuate the sentence. Bingo! - The classic game with a twist! After reviewing all ending punctuation students have learned read sentences aloud as students mark the corresponding punctuation on their bingo cards. Sentence Fluency Longer Does Not Mean Better- Read students a simple sentence from a picture book. Then go around the room and have each student change one word or add one the sentence. Prompt students by asking who, what, where, when, and why until the sentence becomes to long too understand and even restate. Then discuss how the length of the sentence is not always correlated with its fluency. Fluency Phone- Once students have written a portion of their story, have them either share with the class or use the fluency phone (PVC pipe) to hear their own writing. Afterward, retell it to the class to see how much easier it is to read! Sequence Triangle: Students will follow the steps below to create a fluency triangle. After, they will develop paragraphs from their triangles:
The top of the triangle is where you write your subject.
o Next, add a verb.
o Then add an adjective to describe the subject.
o Then add an adverb to tell about the verb.
o Write a phrase that tells where the action happened.
o On the bottom line, add an article or pronoun and proper punctuation. Can You Hear it?- Have students listen to a song with rhyme as well as a book with rhythm such as Skippy Jon Jones and discuss what makes reading the book or listening to it enjoyable. How do you know what is coming next? Explain the flow of sounds that makes each of these things enjoyable to listen to and have them identify pleasurable sentence fluency during read-aloud. Beginning Sentences- Have each student highlight the first few words of every sentence and make a list of the phrases. Discuss when each of the beginnings are appropriate and how they can improve any ones they may have used redundantly. MOVE AWAY FROM SIMPLE!
Have the children think about something that has very little significance don’t tell them what they are going to do. After everyone has written down that thing on a sheet of paper tell them it is their job to create an ad to convince people that it is the most important thing in the world. This will encourage kids to make up ideas even if they don’t agree with them. This will be of huge help when it comes to writing if they run into a prompt they know little about or don’t agree with. It causes them to use their imagination and write whatever they can to help get their point across. SHOW DON’T TELL!- Imagery and Painting
When working with writing to a certain audience you want to make sure you are painting a picture in peoples’ heads when you are trying to portray something. To help your students do that work with them on a SHOW DON’T TELL sensory chart. Have them fill one out for different scenarios they may encounter. Give them a scenario and have them write what they think they would see, hear, taste, smell and touch in that situation. Have them write like they are trying to have the person reading imagining they were there. MASP: Generating a List
For this mini lesson you can have the kids start as a class and give them 3 things to think about. Character names, Settings and Problems. The have then make a list on the board of all of the character names. Have kids yell them out and write them as they are mentioned. Then move on to the Settings, ask the kids where are places that stories take place? They can be anywhere. Have the kids give multiple answers and write them up on the board next to the characters. Then do the same for the problems. What problems can people run into. They can range from losing a sock to falling of a cliff. Then have each child pick one thing from each list and tell them to start writing. Have each student write their own story with the class generated elements. Have each child present and show the kids how different the ideas can be even if some of the elements in the story are the same. MAKE IT YOUR OWN: Idea Lesson
When writing an essay it is important for the student to come up with their own ideas and their own stories. To help your students practice in making their own stories work with picture books and have the students write the story that goes along with them. You will be amazed at how many different ways a story can go and how each child’s ideas are so different from one another. COMICS? Helping write dialogue
Dialogue is an excellent idea when writing. It gives so much more to your paper. The only problem is many kids struggle with ideas of what they could have dialogue about. To help them brainstorm dialogue ideas have them do a similar activity to the picture book write. Give them worksheets like this: http://www.education.com/slideshow/write-your-own-comic-strip/ that have comic strips on them and have the students brainstorm what the characters might be saying. ESCAPE: Elements of a Story
Have the kids work to come up with tons of different parts to stories before they decide to start writing. Use the Word ESCAPE to generate ideas. Emotions, Setting, Character, Action, Problem, Ending. This mnemonic device will keep kids on topic and give them ideas of what is needed in their stories. M.A.S.P.-

Morphological Approach to Story Plotting Breaks down the sometimes DAUNTING score given by the Florida Writes into more manageable categories that students can work on in small pieces.

Instead of receiving a single score of 1-6 with a paragraph of potential problems, they will receive scores in each of Spandel’s 6 categories which will help them work on a specific area of their writing. What Spandel does… Voice Activity OH Ideas
Sentence Fluency
Word Choice
Voice What are these “6 Traits”? -Focus
-Support Sentence Fluency = Organization Sentence fluency. Makes a person feel.
Feel inconsistent. Feel “stop and go”.
Or can even make a person feel as though my writing conveys a pleasurable length and spirit to the reader, so much so they will enjoy reading it aloud to others. Does my writing sound natural?
Are some of my sentences short some long?
Do my sentences start in a variety of ways? Sentence Fluency VOICE! Make sure your readers clearly know how you feel about the topic.

Elicits emotion from the reader (will they laugh, maybe cry?)

Ask yourself: Does this sound like me? (Shh! It’s the secret key to a 6!) Lets the reader know a real person wrote it
Brings a topic alive
Conveys conviction on the writers behalf
Makes the reader care VOICE! Conventions = Conventions Editing is key in making your punctuation, capitalization, spelling and other conventions spot on. There are no distracting errors.
Reading is simple and smooth.
Easy to decipher.
All capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and grammar is in order. Conventions Word Choice Activity Infinity Chart Bad is Banished Good is Gone Said is Dead Organization = Organization Confused? Confused? Organization is what helps both the reader and the writer follow the story.

Organization is key in drawing readers in and holding their attention!

Always ask yourself, is my reader going to be Organization IDEAS
 3.Even though my writing grabs your attention here and there, it could use some spicy details. CONVENTIONS
5. I made so few errors, it would be a snap getting this ready to publish. SENTENCE FLUENCY
1.I have to admit it's a challenge to read aloud (even for me). WORD CHOICE
3. It might not tweak your imagination, but hey, it gets the basic meaning across. VOICE
I did not put too much energy or personality in this writing. ORGANIZATION
5.My paper is as clear as a good road map. It takes readers by the hand and guides them along every step. The Rubric Each score has corresponding kid friendly definitions to help students understand why they received that score. Each of the traits will be given a 1 3 or 5. Word Choice = Support -Word choice ensures that the reader connects with the writing the way the writer wants.

-NO implicit ideas or inferences needed, word choice facilitates the elicit expression of the writers voice Loathed ostracized shunned Detested hated disliked Uses strong language
Not choosing words that are becoming redundant choice words
Words convey exactly how I feel
Phrases convey memorable moments Word Choice Sentence Fluency told exclaimed said Voice “;Conventions !. Word Choice Organization Ideas Spandel’s Six Writing Traits! Ideas = Focus Ask yourself do I have to many ideas?
Can you visualize your story? A clear sequence of events in mind
Details to support the story line
Unique outlook Ideas
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