19 December 2007

Prewriting Tips

I talked to Tiffany's teacher (D.W.) about her trouble with writing. Namely that she balks anytime I mention writing something. D.W. suggested we spend more time with the prewriting process, so Tiffany can be more secure, knowing she has ideas to write. So, here are the suggestions she gave:

1. Text to Self- fold a piece of paper down the middle. On one side write something about the character of the book you are reading, on the other side, draw from experiences in your life that are similar to the character. The purpose of this exercise is to help the student relate to the character better.
2. Text to World- the same thing as above, only use experiences you know about other people in the world.
3. Text to Text- again, the same as above only relating to characters in other stories.
4. Senses- close your eyes and describe what you smell, hear, feel or imagine to be in a setting in a story and describe what it would be like to be there.
5. Face senses- Draw a face on a piece of paper. Think of an event or setting from the book. Label the eyes with what a character would see, the hears with sounds, the mouth with tastes, the forehead with thoughts, etc.
6. Hand- trace your hand. For each of the fingers answer a w question. Who, What, When, Where, Why.

I think Tiffany expects things to come naturally without effort, and she is frustrated when they don't. These ideas could help her to take the time to think about what she wants to write. I see a lot of value here. Writing takes effort, and it will take a while before things start to come naturally, and even then, writing will take some thought-- and editing, and rewriting.

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