Book Reports and Fall Stories
We are almost finished reading A SINGLE SHARD, and if I'm being COMPLETELY honest, we could have finished it this week, but I would have been crushed had they finished it without me, so we will read the last two chapters Monday and Tuesday after break. This week, students are working on the 4 Fiction Planners that we use to think about our upcoming stories. These 4 planners are just the first part of our publication process, which you can see outlined in the image at the end of this post. I'm so excited to start it!
Planner 1 asks them to think about the overarching questions of their story (who is the main character, what does he/she want and does he/she get it?).
Planner 2 asks students to draw two pictures of their setting--a rough picture where they think about the geography, details, and items they will include as well as what point of view the picture will be from, and then a final color draft.
Planner 3 is a chance to interview your main character and really get to know him or her. Even if their favorite food doesn't come up in the story, the author should know! Even if we never meet the little sister, the author should know about her!
Planner 4 is a list of scenes and forces students to think about where their story is going and how the tension is balanced throughout it. (Without this, I find that a lot of kids just start writing and haven't gotten their character out of bed after 5 pages!)
Speaking of 5 pages, one of the (probably many) things that gets my students mad at me is my insistence on page and word limits for writing assignments. But if they want to write sequels and trilogies and long pieces, they can certainly do that at home! And there may be a place for that at some point. But do you know what is even harder than writing a 10-page story? Writing a 5-page story and making sure all the details are relevant, all of the conversation important. Editing work out is HARD, but erasing is as much a part of writing as writing itself. So, be forewarned, there will be a page limit on these stories.