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Showing posts from September, 2012

Narrative Poetry Tells Its Own Story

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Last month I wrote about working with Grade three and four students atArdeerSouthPrimary School who began investigating narrative poetry. Our inquiry started with sharing poems by Michael Rosen (Chocolate Cake) and Steven Herrick (First Day At School). We looked closely at the text structures and features of this writing form. 
During our study we closely examined poetic elements such as line breaks and white space. We began by working In pairs reconstructing a Michael Rosen poem (from the book,Quick Let's Get Out of Here) which I had earlier deconstructed. The task was somewhat like unscrambling a jigsaw. 
This exercise drew attention to the decisions poets must make when presenting words across a page. Lots of talk, and collaboration ensued as these young poets magically restored the poem to a more familiar layout. Follow up discussion revealed that these writers were developing an awareness of the need for a difference in text layout to a traditional narrative.  
We discussed di…

Slice of Life Story -The Moving Man Cometh

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I have read that birth, marriage, divorce and commencing school are among our most stressful life events. Some people might add paper cuts and finding the fridge empty worthy of mention. I am not among them. Moving house is worthy of inclusion though. It ranks right up there. We are currently in the process of packing up our house in preparation for moving to a new house in November. We are moving a relatively short distance, but the distance matters little. It's all that moving implies that matters.  As the moving day approaches our life in this house is gradually being packed into boxes and cartons. The signs of our life here are being erased. 

We have started the packing routine early because we will actually be overseas for a month between now and our proposed move, so we needed to get the process underway. The trip was planned well before we had any thought of selling our house. We had no inkling of what the year held in store. The decision to sell arose over a coffee one Satu…

Writing In the Style of a Mentor Author With Our Youngest Writers

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When we focus our teaching on a trusted author’s writing style, we allow student writers to  understand how the writer has actually created the text. We provide them with privileged information. Information on the craft of writing we know will serve them well as they develop a sense of themselves as writers.
In recent weeks I have been working closely with Simone Rossini, and her Prep/Grade 1 class at ArdeerSouthPrimary School in Melbourne’s Western Region. Simone’s teaching focus has been to assist her student writers to become more familiar with the writing style of renowned author, Pamela Allen. The class has been deeply involved in an inquiry into the writing style of this particular author. A wide range of texts have been gathered for the study. Simone has directed her teaching energies to encourage her students to listen, read, think, notice,  discuss and document their increasing knowledge of this mentor author. In her teaching, Simone has used her questioning to 'nudge'…