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Showing posts from November, 2010

Writing Irresistible LEADS with Grade One Students

I have been reading Australian author, Kate Grenville’s book, ‘The Writing Book – A Practical Guide For Fiction Writers.’ Grenville writes about leads and reminds us that the beginning of a piece of writing needs to be irresistible. Further to this she reminds the reader that it doesn’t matter where you begin a piece of writing- just begin! Grenville quotes Ezra Pound who said, ‘It doesn’t matter which leg of the table you make first as long as it stands up in the end.’
The writer’s aim is to glue the reader to the page. Grenville also makes the observation that sometimes you need to write the whole story before returning to the start in order to write a great beginning or ‘lead’ for it.
Recently I have been working with groups of Grade 1 writers alerting them to the various ways in which writers ‘lead’ the reader deeper into their stories. Initially we looked at their own writing samples and I asked students, what did they notice about the words being used in their story leads?
The dis…

Moving Writing from the Notebook towards Publication

With so much emphasis on gathering entries in the Writer’s Notebook there is a danger it will begin to establish itself as the primary focus for writing both in the minds of teachers and students. In such circumstances it would be easy to lose sight of the purpose of the Writer’s Notebook. The Notebook’s primary function is to provide a place for writing to begin. The notebook is to the writer, what the sketchbook is to the artist.
Across the pages of the notebook we gather writing ideas - experiment, trial, and start to play with words. It is the place where potential writing projects find their humble beginnings. It is a step on the journey towards publication. It is important to think of the notebook as a launching pad, rather than an end in itself.  
Young writers need to publish some of their writing projects to experience the entire writing process. This is how they learn to more deeply understand the significance of pre-writing/rehearsing, drafting, revising and editing their wo…