SOL2015 March 23 - Words I Wish I Had Written
Today I planned for my teaching tomorrow…
The focus of my work will be to show teachers and students how as writers we need to develop a close relationship with those author’s we admire. We need to get close to their words. We need to study closely, aspects of their craft. We need to learn to savour their words. We need to learn to read not just with our eyes, but our also with our ears, our hearts.
These writers over time will be our collaborators. My aim is for these young writers to understand how we can immeasurably improve the quality of our writing by learning to read like writers.
When our eyes fall upon words we identify as wondrous, we should copy such extracts into our notebooks as a reminder of powerful and inspirational writing. These words are the words we wish we had written…
The passages I copy into my notebook regularly come from those writers I view as mentors and heroes. Their words inspire me to greater effort as a writer. I write under their influence, I write in their style. Sometimes I include extracts that remind me to write in a certain way.
The words I collect from other authors sit among my own words. That way my words are hanging out with only the best possible examples of writing. I want my words to be thinking wow, I want to be like that.
I know these young writers have not been in the habit of working in their notebooks in this way. This will be new to them. I have asked them to bring in their favourite books so that we can go exploring… Text detectives all. Lots of reading, talking, writing and lots of explaining choices. They shall be reading like writers.
Before we do this important exploratory work I will share some of the influences on my writing.
From The Boat, Helen Ward
‘The rain came with clouds, the colour of bruises.’ *Description
‘Trickles tipped caterpillars off their twigs and turned to torrents.’ *Alliteration
From Noah Barleywater Runs Away, John Boyne
‘Noah Barleycorn left home in the early morning, before the sun rose, before the dogs woke, before the dew stopped falling on the fields.’ *Establishes time, using repetition
|From my notebook... Fantastic Non Fiction!|
I hope these young writers (and their teachers) begin to appreciate the immense power of other writers to positively impact on the writing they do. There are so many ways we can influence the development of student writing. I can’t wait to share some of this treasure…