I Received A 'Writer's Gift' Today

It’s always fun to receive a parcel in the mail. Today I received a parcel that surprised and delighted me. A group of Grade 4 students from Regency Park Primary School I had the pleasure of working with last year sent me a ‘Writer’s Gift.’ With the assistance of their committed teacher, Katherine Corr, these students had assembled a broad sample of their best writing across 2011 parcelled it up and presented it to me.  
 Katherine gently and consistently guided these students, encouraging their risk taking, prompting them to try new ideas, and supporting them through conferencing and feedback. This approach has incorporated a metacognitive component where student writers have been encouraged to be reflective about their work as writers. These were fertile conditions for the writer consultant to move into, I must admit.

Upon reading these samples I was astounded by the breadth of writing forms covered. I was immediately aware of the sense of ownership evident in the writing. Each writer had made informed choices regarding the shape and form for their respective pieces. They had submitted in their preferred genre. The writing displays a growing awareness of the text structures and features of specific genres.

Reading also revealed the potential of these writing gifts for use as student mentor texts. These are writing pieces I can easily bring to the attention of other young writers to inspire and grow their work.  So, I am doubly grateful to these fellow writers.  I now have tangible evidence of the growth of these enthusiastic young writers and an ongoing reminder of the sessions we spent together celebrating writing.

Let me briefly share some examples:

‘My heart was beating fast. My stomach felt like jelly. I couldn’t feel my legs. The Scenic Railway went up and down over the bumps. The whole of Luna Park was below me. The people looked like Barbie Dolls. On the road cars looked like little matchbox cars…’
Josie uses the Inside/Outside strategy

‘I shuffled closer to look at the stretched out view of the brightly lit city. The lights were like a colony of fireflies, and the buildings shimmered like silvery coins…’
Nerika paints a scene with words

‘Delightful chocolate stuck to my fingers. Flickering, my tongue asked for more of the sweet, rich chocolate. I was melting with happiness as the mix of sugary warm chocolate oozed through my mouth…’
Billie’s rich description

‘Planes shift around me, they travel left and right to their destinations
I am the cloud
When it is a stormy day the sky turns grey and it starts to rain
I am the cloud’
Grace’s poem incorporates the use of personification

‘This is no ordinary fairy tale. It has a twist that you shall enjoy…”
Brooke’s Lead

‘Syvlia didn’t even get to say bye. She was home in bed, same time, same day. ‘I’m never adding that magic cookie ingredient again she thought…’
Chayli’s Ending

‘ It all began when my triple-decker chocolate fudge cake blew up in my face…’
Crystal surprise Lead

'Basketball is loved by many people. It is one of the most popular sports in Australia. Males and females play basketball in different age groups. You need five or more players on each team to play.’
Daniel explains the game of Basketball

‘King Tutankhamen was only a minor pharaoh in the history of Egypt. He became famous when his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter…’
Katrina shares her growing knowledge of King Tut

‘Have you got time to go on a holiday? Why don’t you go to Africa!
Here are some reasons why everyone should go to Africa at least once in their life…”
Janvi writes persuasively about Africa

‘I believe sharks should be protected. They are wonderful animals and some species are now endangered. Here are three reasons why they should be protected…’
Rubyrose introduces her argument in favour of protecting sharks

'Pongopui Island has everything you want! Wait, I’ll tell you a secret, -the tickets are selling fast.’
Vivienne writes to influence us to visit this mythical holiday resort

‘Are you tired of normal water?
This fizzy drink will burp your mind!
It’s not normal Coca Cola, it’s…
It will make you feel like you’re in a different world!’
Chayli and Janvi try to persuade us to drink their questionable product


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