Internet Field Trip: The Colossus Writing Process
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
The writing process often seems to be a daunting task, especially for young students. Unfortunately, stacks of photocopied charts, mini-lessons and grammar rules don't help. You can help your students break this monotony with a peppering of trips to the Internet. There are many Web sites that can facilitate various stages of the writing process just as well as any old document — and sometimes even better.
Help young writers warm up before tackling their magnum opus. Direct budding Shakespeares to test their verbal mettle by playing a little FakeOut! This definition guessing game from Education Place adds fun to the hurculean task of learning new words. After they've worked out their vocabulary muscle, with words like absquatulate and borborygmus, they may be prepared to develop story ideas at Just For Kids. Here, published author and illustrator Joan Holub gives valuable advice on making changes once the story is written and provides a step-by-step description of how eager illustrators can make their very own book dummy.
Are you looking for a great resource for a particular hard-to-motivate writer? Introduce your students to awesomecards.com. Here you'll find an easy way for writers to succinctly gather their thoughts. Young writers will get a chance to read examples of greeting cards before drafting their own sentiments. The site is structured according to themes, and writers have a chance to pick from a variety of musical styles that will play when their card is sent. There is also an opportunity to review and revise the card before sending.
For those writers who are still searching for a topic, a visit to the Web literary magazine Stone Soup, may prove to be an auspicious experience. Writing Projects is chock full of story ideas inspired by tales published in this fine magazine by young writers and artists. Education World's Lesson Planning Center will show a wide variety of Language Arts Teacher Lesson Plans for grades 6–8 for still more writing project ideas.
Finally, when the words “the end” have graced a writer's first draft, it might be time to visit the Editing, Revising, and Evaluating section of The Five Paragraph Essay Wizard. Aspiring editors can perfect such skills as using commas, trouble-shooting sentences, and adding action and clarity to their “soon-to-be-a best-seller!”