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Title: Help! You’re Trapped in the Writing
Note: I hope that during my visit I can meet with as many students as possible. My presentations are intended to enrich and inspire average and reluctant readers and writers, as well as the gifted and talented.*
Target Audience: Grades 2 - 10
Assembly: An inspiring and enriching PowerPoint presentation describing the entire creation of a book, emphasizing each step of the writing process (especially revision!), plus organization, and research. The show is entertaining, instructive, motivational, and informative. As a former struggling reader and writer, I reach out to those who need encouragement. The assembly is for any size audience. It takes about one period but can go longer with questions and answers.
Writing workshops: My writing workshops are geared toward different grade levels and explore story structure, re writing, “show don’t tell”, and dialogue.
For grades 3-6 my workshop involves writing exercises designed to give student writers the experience of using words to create pictures that telegraph information to the reader. In other words, it's the writer's maxim of SHOW DON'T TELL, emphasizing the use of sensory writing, detail and description. For instance, showing each season by describing a tree in that season. Showing a person's mood via facial expression and motion (trudge, stomp, skip). Showing a cold day without using the words cold or freezing.
For grades 7 and up the workshop is called STORY STRUCTURE IN FICTION. Many and novels share common story elements, such as exposition, conflict, rising action, crisis, climax, and resolution. In the first half of the workshop, we identify these elements in popular novels. In the second half we use these elements to create a story of our own. In the process we discuss character development and motivation. At the end student writers have a greater understanding of story structure, as well as having had the experience of "thinking like a writer.” I find this workshop works best when attended on a voluntary basis. Ideal size of audience is around 30 +/- 5. No truly interested student should be turned away.
* The total number of “formal” presentations in one day is four. However, I am always available for “informal” chats, lunch with students, etc.
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