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Writing Hooks Writing Hooks

Writing is hard to teach third graders.  Our school district was supposed to begin using 6 + 1 traits and then they decided that didn't fulfill all the things they wanted...so now it's a hodge podge of several different writing programs. 

We use a notebook with tabs and call it a writing portfolio.  The first week of school I teach them the circle method of writing.  They make a circle in the middle and this is the main idea.  Then they add four lines going outward and draw a circle on each of these lines for their details.  I've attached a sample of what I use in my classroom. 

Writing hooks are to help students begin their story with something different.  I've attached some I made a couple of years ago.  We work very hard on writing as it's tested in fourth grade.  I also teach using similes in their writing. 

You also need to make a chart showing tired or dead words.  Have the students come up with the words and some that can replace them.  I have all kinds of lists, but the best ones are student made. 

Also teaching adjectives is easy with seed sentences.  Just write them on sentence strips and have the students add lots of adjectives to them. 

Sample seed sentences:
The child played.
The dog barked.
The cat hissed.
The pencil broke.
The pig ate.
The alien spoke.
The pizza came.
The teacher spoke.
The squirrel jumped.

Don't forget writing poetry.  Find a cute poem and after reading it several times, put blanks in certain spots for them to use their own words.  Pattern poems is just the beginning.  Make a chart for your wall for the students to add rhyming words they read or remember.

I ran across a neat writing idea several years ago that I've been wanting to try.  You know how time gets away from us.  Anyway, it's called a five day story.  Put your students into five groups and each group will take a day of the week (Mon-Fri) and write about adventures that a family has on vacation.  Together you come up with a setting, characters, and plot.  And the group works on a day's adventures with that family.  Then on Friday you put the stories together and read it aloud.  They even illustrate the story.  You can laminate it and keep it for class reading.  Doesn't that sound like a neat project?

I hope these ideas will help you with your creative writing.  Joanne

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Joanne Griffin