why respond in writing?
Just as no two fingerprints are alike, every author has a distinct writing style. Voice is the fingerprint of an author.
When I begin a writer’s workshop I ask my students a simple question, “Why do we write?” The standard responses is "to get a grade."
My response is always, “Writing is a gift.”
Whether the work is scientific, analytical, an article, a novel, or a poem, words are crafted with an audience in mind. Communicating to my students to value their “voice” is a simple encouragement, but I’ve discovered it is key to unlocking all sorts of writer’s block! When young writers recognize that infusing their unique personality into their writing makes their words meaningful for the reader, doing the work of becoming a writer makes more sense. When I say to my students, “Your writing has a voice that is tremendously one of a kind,” their faces beam. Helping students to discover this truth is foundational to the teaching of writing!
Effective writing may contain feelings and emotions, other times it informs in an encyclopedic fashion. Sophisticated writing often paints clever word pictures for the reader. Helping students keep a purpose in mind helps them to become effective gift givers. Above all else, the reader should be able to sense sincerity, regardless of the purpose of the writing. Writing should come straight from the heart.
Marks, symbols, and signs, word choice, the crafting of phrases, form, and rhythm all work together to bring a topic to life for the reader. This is a gargantuan task. When you get right down to it, writing is an abstract, complex, and somewhat mysterious craft. Enabling your students to share their ideas happens over time by providing them with rich, relevant opportunities to practice.
The right kind of practice makes perfect.
Young writers recognize the power of writing and develop confidence in their ability to express their ideas as they engage in consistent and meaningful practice. Each week Blackbird and Company literature guides offer opportunities to practice note taking and sentence writing skills–foundational to the art of writing. Beyond this, our literature guides provide an opportunity for your young writers to develop voice. Students will be challenged to personally respond to a directive related to the week’s reading by constructing an original paragraph. Over time, they will not only explore a variety of writing domains including observational, persuasive, narrative, analytical, and descriptive, but more importantly, develop the confidence that leads to authenticity in writing. By providing this consistent framework for practice, you are challenging your students, “Let your beautiful voice ring!”
The purpose of a paragraph is simple, to express an idea. Paragraphs follow a basic format:
Writing a paragraph begins with an idea. The writer must ask himself:
Successful writing begins a plan. The key to crafting a successful paragraph is to break down the writing process into steps:
L1, 2, and 3 Samples- Rough draft and final draft