adding details to writing...

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by HufflePuff, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 8, 2009

    i just read some essays my students wrote. granted they were timed prompts, but the essays lacked details so much! the paragraphs were short, to the point, and didn't explain much. how can i teach the students to add more detail? (p.s. i just started this job a few weeks ago...so i couldn't have taught them this before.)
     
  2.  
  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    15

    Mar 8, 2009

    Give some time before the prompt to do some pre-writing activities. Give them the topic of the prompt (or the prompt itself) and have them create a writing web. Or, do a think/pair/share type activity. In essence, give them the opportunity to develop the ideas they will write about before they begin writing.
     
  4. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 11, 2009

    When they do the timed prompts, are they doing a lot of sitting at the end of their writing before the time is up? Maybe you could 'bribe' them to write for the whole time? I find when they do that and they get into the habit of writing for the full time (in my case 45 mins), they tend to do it on the standardize test as well. Or give them bonus points for doing a pre-writing on their papers.
     
  5. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 14, 2009

    You can also depth-charge. They take a sentence, circle a word that interests them, then write a sentence that goes along with that. Then they do it again with another sentence.

    Example/Original sentence:
    She was holding her baby doll.

    New paragraph depth-charged:
    She was holding her baby doll.
    The doll was wearing a blue dress.
    The dress looked like Cinderella's ball gown, and it sparkled.
    The sparkles reminded her of the diamond on her mother's finger, which she hadn't seen since her mother died.

    OK...don't know where that all came from, but I think you get the idea. It allows students to add depth by focusing in on one thing, and it develops the idea. Obviously, this would be the rough draft, and then they go into what and where they want to combine sentences.

    You can also get mini-lessons in there--similes, sentence combining, sensory images, flashback/anecdote, etc.

    When I do this with my kids, they use sticky notes to add to the original sentence, that way they can move it around when they go into revising.
     
  6. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2009

    This idea relates to the previous post...

    I re-worked my grammar sequencing so that we're learning sentence types (simple, complex, etc.) now, just before they write their research reports. Yes, this is later than most people would like, but it works well for us.

    When they finish their rough drafts (about 2 weeks from now), I'll have them label the sentence types for each paragraph, if we have time (if we're in a time crunch, we'll just do one paragraph). Then they will go back and be sure that each paragraph includes at least one sentence of each type.

    That's my raw plan for now - I'll refine it as revision week comes closer! For now, I'm concentrating on the grammar, ensuring that they can identify and write examples for each sentence type.

    This technique isn't a silver bullet, and it may be a struggle to encourage meaningful writing. However, it works well as part of the repertoire. I like the idea in the previous post :)

    Good luck!
     
  7. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 25, 2009

     
  8. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2009

    Get a copy of Nancie Atwell's book Lessons that Change Writers. I went to a workshop with her and it was amazing. I think you are looking for the lessons "Write About a Pebble" and "Thoughts and Feelings.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 174 (members: 1, guests: 153, robots: 20)
test