Saturday, August 4, 2012

Drawing to Write

I have to admit, I was sooo excited when I first got the book Primary Pizzazz Writing.  I really don't like to teach writing and am always looking for resources to help me out.  But when I started reading it, I was like, yeah, this isn't as great as I thought.  That's why I haven't really been posting regularly about it.  Don't you hate it when that happens?

BUT, as I continue to read through it, it's starting to make more sense.  The second part of the book discusses different writing skills that the kids will move through and gives activities for each skill.  I've made it through the first 3 writing skills - recognizing and writing letters, writing words, and making a list. 

Today I read through the 4th skill, "I can draw what I want to write."  Now, I have to admit, and I've said it before, I don't really give the kids as much time as I should to draw.  I'm scared that they'll spend most of their time drawing and won't get any writing done.  We've all had ones like that, haven't we?  But as I read, I'm thinking about how important drawing really is to the kids writing.  One of the activities listed in this section is using storyboards.  Forney suggests starting with a two box storyboard.  Just draw 2 boxes side by side on the paper.  Then, have the kids draw a picture in the first box (for example, a boy holding balloons).  In the next box, they draw what would happen next in their story (ex: he lets the balloons go).

Once the students have gotten the hang of storyboards, you can increase the number of boxes to 3, 4, 5 - as many as you need.  Once they've drawn their story, they can share it with you or with a friend.  This is the first step that really allows them to get their thoughts in order.  She suggests having them write an opening sentence above the storyboard and then a closing sentence under it.  I'm thinking this might encourage my more reluctant writers who might balk at writing a whole story.  This way, they can read their first sentence, "read" me the middle of the story through their pictures, and then read their ending sentence.  Eventually, we can work toward writing the whole story. 

Here is a picture of a free storyboard you can download (although it may be just as easy to make your own):
Storyboard Template
Storyboard Template

On another note, I won't be able to get back in my classroom until I go back on Tuesday (and it's killing me!!).  I won't have a car until then (hopefully).  Let's just say the car took on the mailbox and the mailbox won.  Hopefully I'll be able to get everything done.  They give us a week of pre-planning, but it's so filled with meetings and workshops that time in the classroom is rare.  I'll be sure to post the rest of the pictures when the room is done.

So, have any of you used storyboards before? 

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