MAKE WRITING VISIBLE

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!

DOT DAY: Imaginative Brainstorming

We all need to USE OUR IMAGINATIONS MORE—so our stories will be imaginative and creative! On DOT DAY, September 15th every year, that’s exactly what we are reminded to do: BOOST OUR IMAGINATIONS! Dot Day was inspired by Peter H. Reynold’s book, The Dot.
the dot

Albert Einstein agreed . . .


Imagination research

I agree! To boost our imaginations, we need to use them more, warm them up, get them revved. In the video above (by all means, show it to your students), I show you imaginative ways I used my “dot”—a red ball . . .


My First Project 237

as a heavy earring, a wild steering wheel, a bad-cold-in-my-nose, a pillow that gives me red dreams, a giant period at the end of giant’s giant sentence. Then I challenge you to do imaginative brainstorming for a few minutes every day. Use it so you won’t lose it!

This handout gives ideas for imaginative brainstorming. These ideas help to make IMAGINATION MORE VISIBLE. Have a discussion with students about how they came up with their ideas. Which ideas seemed the most creative and why? By using their imaginations with these short imaginative brainstorming activities, you’ll be boosting your students’ imaginative skills, which will hopefully then translate into having them be MORE CREATIVE when they write their own STORIES!

LINKS:
The Dot book by Peter H. Reynolds
Dot Day
Handout for Imaginative Brainstorming Ideas

COMMENTS CHALLENGE
Add to the Imaginative Brainstorming Ideas. What are some other ideas/lists you can use to challenge your students to use their imaginations? Please share for other teachers to add to their teaching toolbox. Thanks!

RELATED BLOGS. You also might like . . .
Sprinkling Make Believe on Stories
Reading & Writing Word Pictures
Strong Nouns, Strong Verbs

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

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Writing FUNNY =)

How can you help your students to WRITE FUNNY?  First of all, have them watch the video above to kick off a discussion about writing funny.

Before doing their own humorous writing, students should first back up and READ FUNNY. Have them find examples of wordplay and humor in stories and picture books and analyze those examples. What makes them funny? Why did authors choose the words they did? For example, in TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY, why is Maybella Jean Wishywashy a perfect name for the main character? (answer: Since her character flaw is that she can't make decisions, she has the last name "Wishywashy"--a wishywashy person is one who can't decide; plus her first name "Maybella" starts with the word maybe--maybe she should choose this one, or maybe choose that one, or maybe the other one--she can't decide; and so her name hints at her character flaw). What is the word play in Lisa Wheeler's picture book title WOOL GATHERING: A SHEEP FAMILY REUNION? (answer: Sheep are animals with wool on their bodies and when a sheep family all gets/gathers together it could be called a "Wool Gathering") The HANDOUT below includes a page that encourages students to find examples of funny writing as a reader.

The book ONLY COWS ALLOWED, which is full of puns (word jokes), can be viewed as a video read-aloud on this website. Click here and go to the bottom of the page for the video. Have students watch it and try to find all the puns in the story.

Next, students should try WRITING FUNNY. They can start by brainstorming words within a category, such as FRUITS & VEGETABLES: zucchini, cantaloupe, nectarine. For each of those words, they should think if the food's name reminds them of any other word. For example, the beginning of "zucchini" sounds like "zoo" which could lead to the joke: Which vegetable lives in a cage? ZOOcchini! The word "cantaloupe" sounds like the phrase "can't elope" which could lead to the joke: Which fruit wants a big wedding?  Cantaloupe! And for "nectarine," the beginning sounds like "neck" which could lead to the joke: What's a giraffe's favorite fruit? NECKtarine!

To write funny, students could also start with a target word, such as PIG and then brainstorm as many pig-related words as possible, such as: oink, grunt, piglets, Wilbur, pigpen, slop, bacon, ham, etc. Could any of those words inspire pig jokes or wordplay? Oh, that poor aching pig needed some oinkment!  That pig didn't even have the lead part in the play, but he was still such a ham on stage! The HANDOUT  below includes a page that challenges students to WRITE FUNNY.

Writing FUNNY is a great end-of-school-year kind of writing. Students will have fun with it, and you might encourage them to try some funny writing over summer break . . . maybe they could create school jokes over the summer that they could share when the school year starts again.

Have FUN writing FUNNY! And by all means, add any of your student-created jokes or wordplay to the comment section below--that would be COMMENTable=)! (Get it? Wordplay for "commendable" =)

P.S. Clown noses cost about $1 at a party store. You don't want your students sharing  the same clown nose (that would snot be nice!), but you might think about students having their own clown noses to wear when they write something funny that they want to share with others. A little gimmick that kids enjoy.

BLOG EXTRAS:
READING & WRITING FUNNY HANDOUT
MAKE A PUNNY

BOOKS WITH WORDPLAY/HUMOR:
Only Cows Allowed by Lynn Plourde & Rebecca Harrison Reed
The Blizzard Wizard by Lynn Plourde & John Aardema
The Mrs. Shepherd series of books by Lynn Plourde & Thor Wickstrom
(note the main character's names in:Teacher Appreciation Day, Pajama Day, Book Fair Day, Science Fair Day, Field Trip Day)
Wool Gathering: A Sheep Family Reunion by Lisa Wheeler & Frank Ansley
Mr. Prickles: A Quill-Fated Love Story by Kara LaReau & Scott Magoon

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

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