This term a group of divergent thinkers have come together to play with words! We are focusing on creativity and excellence; two key attributes learners develop during their time at RSS.
This week we looked at 'basic-better-best' words to refine our thinking. Often in our writing we struggle to attend to 'best fit words' where we are saying exactly what we mean; giving the reader a strong image. For example, does the word 'said' mean screamed, screeched, or squealed? All of these words give the reader a little bit more information, and a great image, of what a character may be feeling. We had fun with some basic starter words that are often over-used and intensified them. Check out what we came up with below. Can you connect with the colour choices for each group of words?
We are learning to hone our skills in re-crafting for excellence. This week we created alphabet sentences. Some of these combine to tell clever stories. Each new word had to start with a consecutive letter of the alphabet, making the drafting and editing process a lot trickier!
Over the last couple of weeks we have been exploring a picture book called 'The Black Book of Colours.' by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria.
We were very inspired and had to create our own! Check out our imagery below...
Regularly, they will take part in skill workshops to develop specific writing skills that they can then practice in class and personal writing. Here is a summary of what we cover at the workshops:
Today we raided the library for examples of brilliant beginnings - not just good or great - but BRILLIANT. How would we know when we had one? Well first of all our tough critic Abby had to give it the thumbs up. We decided good criteria would be that a brilliant beginning would draw the reader in and hook them like a fish. Despite struggling and squirming with all our might we just couldn't put the book down... the beginning was THAT good!
So what are some great strategies for brilliant beginnings? Here is a list of 10 to get us started:
We used an existing piece of writing or started from scratch to practice this technique. We agreed that it certainly made us more engaged as a reader. Here is an example from Millie:
The vets bustled around outside the door, unaware if the pain we were going through. Indy kept sitting up and then lying down. He had just been to the Vet’s several days earlier, so why was he here again? I honestly didn’t know because Mum and Dad had tears in their eyes every-time that I asked them what was wrong with him. Indy’s ears flapped as he shook his head free from my salty tears that were dropping into his silky fur. I felt a surge of love, and felt that I needed to protect the dog that had stayed by my side, pushed me out if my bed and chewed my favourite teddy’s to pieces....
Millie started with action for this scene and it works really well but she could have started with feelings or setting instead. As a writer we are always making choices that will keep the reader hooked in. So sometimes feelings might be more appropriate, and other times setting is the way to go.
Over the next few weeks our emerging authors will be uploading pieces to our blog. Some will be pieces they want to share, some will be pieces they are stuck with and need advice or a new perspective. Take time to read their work and give them feedback.