Need help with Writing ideas...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by TeacherKay9, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. TeacherKay9

    TeacherKay9 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    In a few weeks I'll be teaching incoming 9th graders for the first time. (previously i taught ele.) This will be for a special acceleration program for students who were borderline with their scores on the standardized test in 8th grade. I'm supposed to go over the mechanics of writing: main idea, transitions, 5 paragraph essay etc., but it's also supposed to be fun.

    Any creative ideas from those of you who've taught this age before of how I can make 8 days of writing exciting? It's for 45 min a day. I thought of creative writing in the form of a webcast script or poetry slam, but that doesn't necessarily help with the basic writing skills. Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2006

    I'm HS math, and a former debate coach. How about values-centered debate topics:

    -Honesty is more important than friendship.

    -The candidate's right to privacy is more important than the public's right to know.

    -When in conflict, the rights of the minority should take precedence over the wishes of the majority.

    -When in conflict, the security of our nation should take precedence over individual rights.

    I coached for 18 years and am drawing a total blank. But these may get you started.
     
  4. TeacherKay9

    TeacherKay9 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Thanks!

    Interesting idea! I like the idea that they'd have to choose a side and support it.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2006

    And the easy part of this type of debate topic is that there's no real need for evidence; it's all argumentation.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Here are a couple of good places to look:

    http://www97.intel.com/education/ - the Thinking Tools on this site look really promising for helping kids really understand why thought needs to be organized and why the skilled writer provides evidence that's specific, verifiable, and compelling.

    http://www.delangehenderson.com/writing_program.html - these materials are designed for California, but there are bound to be commonalities between California's standards and those in Georgia.
     
  7. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 27, 2006

    I will also be doing 9th grade English and I like these kinds of topics because they are not literature focused and from looking at the county cirriculum it seems there is not much of a lit focus in 9th grade (mostly overall reading comprehension and basic secondary writing skills)

    ~J
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Seems to me that the tools for reading comprehension and writing differ from the tools for literature much more in degree than they do in kind: what's at the bottom of both, ultimately, is the fine art of paying attention and focusing someone else's attention. After all, writing skills and reading skills are often two sides of the same coin, aren't they?
     
  9. helpinghand

    helpinghand Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2006

    Whatever writing prompts you use, I think modeling each part of the essay for your students is so important. I always begin with a checklist for that particular paragraph, model that paragraph discussing with them the parts i included that fit the checklist, next individual practice. As the students write their first draft of the paragraph for that day, I monitor and stop by each desk. If a student has something that is creative or effective, I ask him to share. Last we end with those who would like reading their writing aloud. If time allows, I write a good student example on transparency, and we go through the student's paragraph using the checklist.

    If the students can keep their checklists and drafts in one spiral notebook, that will give them something to refer to when they move on.

    As far as creativity these students need a foundation to grow from. I find that this interactive way of writing has proven to be a blast for the students. They enjoy watching the thought process as I write. Also, many of the students feel more secure with a checklist that helps them to see that writing is not just pulling teeth or a shot in the dark. Of course with more time you could show them alternatives to the first given lists. Then students also enjoy having a seat in the author's chair to read their writing.
     
  10. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jul 2, 2006

    Get Teacher Created Materials Writing Series for 6-8 grade. These workbooks cover Narrative Writing, EXpository Writing, Descriptive Writing and Narrative Writing. They teach students how to write essays and have many motivational prompts. you also might want to do hand-on projects that involve art and writing. The Writing Book If you are going to teach kids how to write..you've got to have this book gives some great ideas for this. Hope this helps! Terry G.
     
  11. montuckygirl

    montuckygirl Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2006

    I found some in a curriculum I have used. These are not my invention.
    1) Write goals for attaining and/or maintaining personal health for the school year. Be sure the plan includes ways to abstain from using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs; effective ways to deal with stress; ways to find social support for safe and healthy choices, etc.

    2) Record one example of a time when you set and achieved a goal, and one time when you set a goal and did not achieve. Write a paragraph about each goal and explain why you were able to reach the first goal and why you did not reach the second goal.

    3) Write about the following quotes
    -"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them." Og Mandino
    -"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." John Quincy Adams
    -"The good or ill of man lies within his own will." Epicetus
    -"All feelings are permissible, but not all behaviors are permissible." Haim Ginott
    -"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." Lord Josiah Charles Stamp
    -"The biggest mistake a man[person] can make is to be afraid of making one." Elbert Hubbard
    -"Honesty is the best policy." Ben Franklin
    -"Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye." Helen Keller
    -What have you done within the last 24 hours to strengthen a friendship? What can you do within the next 24 hours to be a good friend?
    -"If you lie with the dogs, you will wake up with fleas." Unknown
    -"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
    -"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
    -"The ultimate measure of a man [person] is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy." MLK Jr.
    -"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others." Mahatma Gandhi
    Contrast the message sent by cigarette ads with the truth about cigarettes.
    Write a report on the effect of nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs
    on body systems.
    -"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an art, then, but a habit." Aristotle
    -"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Charles Swindell
    -"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape." Anonymous
    -"When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target." George Fisher

    Those are just some of the quotes and writing exercises. Hope that helps.
     
  12. busyteacher

    busyteacher Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2006

    Hi. I teach sixth grade Language Arts. I start off with an autobio poem and an I am poem...these are available on line however I have developed my own...I also created an autobiography unit plan with over ten fill in sheets. Kids love to tell about their lives and tend to write when it is about them. These projects all require pictures...get them to write and decorate the classroom!
     

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