Why historical fiction? One of my favorite units is historical fiction--and it quickly becomes a favorite of my students--as we read historical fiction and write historical fiction diaries. As students move through elementary school, we give them a TON of opportunities to read realistic fiction. As they get older, adding historical fiction to their repertoire is a perfect way to kick things ... Read the Post
Responding to Literature: Thinking Deeply
One thing I have noticed about my students is that they LOVE to listen to me read aloud and are getting better and better about picking just right books and reading with amazing stamina. What we really need work on (and I bet I am not alone in this!) is thinking deeply and writing about our reading. How did we start thinking deeply about texts? We've worked on a number of things like ... Read the Post
Teaching Students About Planning Narrative Writing
During our historical fiction unit, our curriculum gives students the opportunity to do a unique type of narrative writing. They take a key "scene" from one of the books we have read (either as a read aloud or their book club novel) and rewrite one scene from a different character's point of view. To really guide and scaffold their work, I wrote my own narrative from our read aloud as they wrote ... Read the Post
Teaching Dialogue and Why It’s So Important!
We are digging into a fun narrative writing unit to complement our historical fiction unit. I know many of you write personal narratives...many write realistic fiction...mysteries--you name it. One of our fun writing projects is to take a scene from one of their historical fiction book club books and rewriting it through the eyes of a different character. It's so much fun to talk about point of ... Read the Post
LOVING our narrative writing unit!
Teaching narrative writing isn't easy. Writing a story from start to finish can seem like a pretty overwhelming task--and it is! I've been working for years on how to make it more accessible and meaningful to my students. Let's face it, writing stories for a living isn't what 99% of them will be doing. That being said, the PROCESS of writing a story and the creative energy of planning one is ... Read the Post
Now that our realistic fiction story planning is complete and we are ready to start drafting, I wanted to make sure my students had a better understanding how dialogue, how to use it (judiciously, of course!), and how it can help tell the I start my dialogue studies with making sure students are clear about what dialogue IS. We talk about how some words in stories are said aloud (or thought ... Read the Post