The purpose of this blog for teachers and my mission as a kids’ book author who does frequent visits to schools is to MAKE WRITING VISIBLE. So much of writing is invisible, inside our brains. That’s where we get our ideas. That’s where we figure out what will happen in our stories. That’s where our creativity lives. That’s where our characters come to life. But are there ways to make all those invisible happenings more visible? YES! I believe we can and we must. By making writing more visible, we take the mystery out of the process. We offer young authors help and hope for becoming better authors. So please join me in MAKING WRITING VISIBLE!

Reading & Writing EAR CANDY

What's EAR CANDY? It's words that sound as yummy to the ear as candy tastes to the mouth. Some people might call them poetic devices. I think the term ear candy is easier for kids to understand. Watch the video for specific examples of ear candy and to see my "ear candy" ears (maybe you could try making your own "ear candy" ears to teach this lesson to your students =).

One kind of ear candy is ALLITERATION, when beginning sounds repeat, such as: Sammy Snake slithered slimily. ONOMATOPOEIA or sound words are another kind of ear candy: crash, bang, boom, hush.  A bit trickier kind of ear candy is ASSONANCE, also called vowel rhyme: The cows chow out loud (with a repeating /ow/ sound). RHYME would also be considered ear candy. CONSONANCE would be too--that's when consonants repeat, but they don't have to just be at the beginning of words, as is the case with alliteration.

When teaching students about ear candy, they should READ ear candy first. Have them find lots of example in books and poems they read. See the organizers below where students can write down ear candy that they READ, and then they can try WRITING some of their own ear candy.

In the COMMENT section below, join the ear candy CONVERSATION by writing examples of ear candy from books/poems or share ones that your students write.



highfalutin fidgeting, fiddling, fuddling, and foopling (from School Picture Day by Plourde/Wickstrom)
snooping black bear sniffs and snorts the tent, snuffling for treats (from At One: In a Place Called Maine by Plourde/Mansmann)


Rah-rah-rah-sis-boom-BAAAAAA! (from The Blizzard Wizard by Plourde/Aardema)
Boing-a-droing-a-droooooooooop. (from Grandpappy Snippy Snappies by Plourde/Santoro)


Examples of ASSONANCE:
Plumpy, lumpy, pulpy pumpkins. (from Wild Child by Plourde/Couch)
Eeny meeny miney mup. So much stuff, I might give up. (from Teacher Appreciation Day by Plourde/Wickstrom)

Cialis Side Effects was ordered fast and the rest of the people turn not avert. Find and revel the instant could not each one of those who stood in a pile of people.

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Writing SPEECH BUBBLES for Wordless Books

Graphic novels are all the rage. Some PICTURE BOOKS are even adding speech bubbles to show the conversation in their stories. So why not have students add speech bubbles to wordless books for a fun writing activity?

Check out picture books like ONE COOL FRIEND and Z IS FOR MOOSE (see links below) where characters talk using speech bubbles. Point out the speech bubbles to your students, and then tell them they are going to add speech bubbles to wordless books.

Give students wordless books such as CARL THE DOG books and THE SUMMER VISITORS (see links below) and have them add speech bubbles to the pages. You'll see examples of how I did so in the video above.

Make certain students are adding speech bubbles in a safe way that does NOT damage the books. They can write dialog on post-it notes or cut-out speech bubbles that are attached with post-it tape to the pages of the book (see link below for speech bubbles templates). Younger children can dictate dialog for you to write for them.

You could even expand this activity to help students learn to write dialog, which can be challenging for young authors. After they add speech bubbles to a book, then they can try to write a story for that book--telling what happens on page after page while adding the conversation (i.e. The baby and Carl stared at themselves in the mirror. The baby said, "We look beautiful!" Carl the dog agreed, "Grrrrrreat!"). You can point out to students that the part in the speech bubble is what goes INSIDE the QUOTATION MARKS.

For older students who want to try writing their own graphic novel scene, check out the activity for the graphic novel LOST TRAIL (see link below).

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo & David Small
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham & Paul O. Zelinsky
Good Dog, Carl by Alexander Day (check out other "Carl" books too)
The Summer Visitors by Karel Hayes
Lost Trail by Donn Fendler, Lynn Plourde & Ben Bishop
speech bubble links (see on last pages of pdf)
graphic novel scene-writing activity

Cialis Side Effects was ordered soon and the rest of the people turn not avert. Find and relish the instant could not each one of those who stood in a pile of people.

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