A New Model for Teaching Narrative Writing Jon
- Slides: 33
A New Model for Teaching Narrative Writing Jon Weldon, Concept Schools Director of English Education
Why teach narrative writing? Every student has a story to tell; we all have stories n Become better readers n Easy to transfer the skills to other types of writing; beginning point for other writing n Concept Writing Contest!!! n
Students need the how, not the what… …Strategies …and activities
Parts of Writing: 1. 2. 3. 4. Getting Started Details and Figurative Language Creating Dialogue Feelings and Sensations 1. 5. 6. Smell, Touch, Sound People and Action Scenes and Settings
1. Getting Started: Where are your students? n Pretest with a simple prompt a. Write a story about an event that is important to you for some reason. Write about it in as much detail as you can so that someone reading it will be able to see what you saw and feel what you felt. Collect and rate for groups n Save to combine with post-test n
Model – Show an example Richard Wright piece n Discuss and dramatize it n Outline the events n ¨ What initiates the action? ¨ What is the character trying to do? ¨ What are the results of the action and attempts? n Examine specific details
Getting Story Ideas 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Read the model story. Share! Show them the 8 questions. Have them brainstorm their own ideas. In groups, each student shares best two ideas. Students give feedback on best idea. 2. Students ask pointed questions. 1.
My stories n n n the time I got in trouble in preschool for peeing in the corner of the playground the summer I had athlete’s foot so bad that I could not swim, wear shoes, or stand up too long the time I snuck out of my friend’s house. We had to push his car down the road so his parents wouldn’t hear him start it and drove to the next town to go to a warehouse rave. When I set the state record for the mile in high school. During my two years living in Oakland when I saw a “rockabilly” fight in a warehouse
1. What experiences have made you feel really happy or very sad? 2. What experiences have been very alarming or really frightening? 3. What experiences have made you feel proud of yourself? 4. What have been the most difficult tasks you have had to undertake? 5. What contests or games have you tried hard to win? 6. What experiences have made you feel ashamed of yourself? 7. What experiences have made you realize that you truly care about someone? 8. What experiences have made you laugh?
Questions to ask What needs to be explained about setting? What do we need to know about characters? What initiates or begins the action? What does main character attempt to do? What are the results? How does the character respond? What do characters say to each other?
2. Details and Figurative Language The Seashell Game Object of the game: Describe a shell so well that another student would be able to pick it out from a class set of shells. This game is about incorporating detail
Model one especially impressive shell. Write responses on board as a class Seashell Game 1. 2. 3. 1. Give each person (group) two shells. Tell them to choose one and describe it as best they can. Pass the description and shells to another person (group). 4. 1. They must choose which one the other wrote about. The second “reader” underlines the details that helped him/her identify the shell. 5. 1. Note best details.
Frame the Description – The Paragraph 1. 2. 3. (write out the notes in a paragraph) Hand out yesterday’s notes Discuss opening and closing statements. Use only one word to describe the shell. Ø Encourage variety in sentence structure. Ø 4. Write it in paragraph form as a class. Ø 5. 6. Grammar Time! In groups, they revise their particular shell. Share.
On Their Own n Students select their own shell and write a descriptive paragraph about it. Another student finds it among all 30 -40 shells based on the description. Create a class display or museum.
Things to keep in mind: n n Need 6 to 8 pairs of similar shells but different in species For group work, shells should be more than 2 inches long Avoid colors like green and purple, that are uncommon among shells Resources for shells: ¨ www. shellworld. com ¨ www. seashellcity. com
Seashell Game Reflections n n Compare their 1 st and 2 nd paragraphs Effective learning begins with a concrete experience Develop criteria for judging the work in order to assess your teaching Focus on the procedural knowledge (process) ¨ Observations n n paragraph revision Teacher Group Individual Use activities that allow students to interpret data (details, opening) themselves
3. Creating Dialogue I go you be trippin He goes na you shouldn’a said that I’m like you better get outta my face And then he goes I’m through wit you and walks off I started yellin like I’m gonna tell everyone what you did
Introduce the concept With Wright piece, ask students to underline every place a character says something. Have a short discussion about the dialogue. 1. 2. Consider the story without dialogue. Ø 3. Give a scenario and create dialogue as a class. Characters Ø Stage directions, as a play Ø Model how to on the board Ø 4. Distribute scenario sheets and create dialogue in groups. Ø 5. Each member copies down the dialogue. Collect copies to assess
Give short lesson on writing needs Use previous class dialogue as model 6. 7. Ø Grammar Time! Example: Review stage and actor directions. Scaffolding sentence structure. 8. 9. Ø She enters on tiptoe, sneaking up to David like she’s about to strangle him. Practice lesson in groups with previous dialogue Practice dialogue Act out the dialogue. 10. 11. 12. Ø Strong readers go first.
From Scripts to Narratives 1. 2. 3. Distribute dialogue and discuss how this could be made into a story. Distribute rules for punctuation and read over them. Create the narrative dialogue as a class Ø Ø Ø 4. Keep it present tense Encourage analogies for characters’ speech Encourage creative comparisons: animal sounds Complete the rest of the narrative independently.
Working Independently 1. Students choose a story idea with dialogue and write it first as a script. Ø Correct the script dialogues; focused Ø Have students read theirs and get feedback Ø Discuss how it can be changed to a narrative 2. Write dialogues as narratives Ø Focus on building out sentences n Example: From “She says” to “Tipping her head to the side and squinting her eye, she says”
4. Sensations – Describing Sounds n n n Perhaps the best example of sound in a passage is Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart”. Provide a copy to the students and ask them to find all the descriptions of sound. Create a list of the sounds. Develop a sound script – a list of sounds and when they are used in the story, as if it was a movie. Students can be assigned sounds to bring in. Or, you can find them at www. freesound. org ¨ Each student is responsible for at least one sound. ¨ n Write the sound directions in the margins by the appropriate places.
Describing Sounds Indicate the source of the sound. n Use words that imitate the sound. n Break complicated sounds into parts. n Describe the character and texture of the sound. n Comparisons – Use figurative language or analogies to describe the sound. n
Automatic dishwasher Automatic ice-cube maker Someone taking a shower Basketball player playing alone in a gym Gas-powered lawn mower Late-night sounds near your house Screen door slamming Sawing a plank in half 18 -wheeler truck A sound of your choice (The sound of silence)
Crossing Senses Odors Fresh cut grass Exhaust fumes A beach A forest A locker room A bakery A shoe store Favorite food Color Ø Shape Ø Weight Ø Temperature Ø Sound Ø
Color Relay Game Get color swatches from the paint store. 1. 1. http: //www. hessler. com/PANTONE%28 R%29%20 color%20 br idge%28 TM%29%20 CMYK%20 PC%20 copy. pdf 2. Write a color on the board – ie “orange” – and have all the students think of synonyms for that color. Examples: burnt orange, neon orange, basketball orange, tiger orange 2. Independent (HW) work. Choose two other colors and list 9 -10 synonyms of that color. Do not include generic terms, like light, dark etc 3. Color Relay Game – Students have to find as many synonyms as possible for each color. ¨ ¨ set up stations with swatches of a particular color. In groups of 3 or 4, they travel to each station, making lists of their color synonyms.
5. Writing About People 1. 2. Begin by showing a characterization of someone. Discuss. What do you see? What does this say about the person? n n n What other details do you notice? What about his face? What do you think he thinks of other people?
Writing About People A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion
3. Group Work What do all these details suggest about the habits of this man? Ø How would you describe his character? Ø What would it be like to visit this man? How would he treat you? Ø 4. Individual Work Ø Imagine you have gone to visit the Prince of Wales. Write a letter to one of your friends about the experience. How did he behave? Be specific. Include thoughts and sensations. Include dialogue. 5. Final Assignment – Writing about a person in your story
6. Describing Scenes and Settings The Massacre of the Innocents, Peter Brueghel
1. 2. 3. 4. Have students describe a part of this scene. List responses. An excellent moment for combining sentences. Provide a model scene in a story. Example: Richard Wright excerpt ¨ What senses does he appeal to? ¨ What comparisons does he make? ¨ Overall, what do you think he thought about this time in his life? ¨ What is your feeling after reading this?
Students choose their own event they remember with great pleasure and write a series of images about it. 6. In groups they share. 5. ¨ ¨ How do you think the writer wants you to feel? What details are most effective? What parts are not clear? What questions could the writer answer with more detail?
Conclusion 1. Write a narrative using one of the following prompts: Ø Ø Ø 2. Write a fictional narrative using the follow prompt: Ø 3. The monster under the bed… The monster with a bad cold… The monster with a silly hat… The monster who wouldn’t brush his teeth… The monster and the sticky chewing gum… The Big Old House: What Secrets does it Hold? Write a narrative using one of the following prompt: Ø Ø Ø And here I stand… the last warrior. And here I stand… the lone survivor. And here I stand… exhausted but safe. And here I stand… proud to be an American. And here I stand… happy to be alive.