Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Suitable Endings

I have been so impressed with my students' writing! They have been thinking about the reader by incorporating lovely language and vivid vocabulary. Their writing has also contained their voice - it really sounds like their personality. We have worked hard at creating significant leads to draw the reader in and make them want to keep reading.

After conferring with students, I've also noticed that many had one or more paragraphs explaining the main theme of their story. These paragraphs were also well written. When students got to the endings of their stories, however, I noticed they were brief. They lacked pizazz. I thought they must have lost their drive to keep writing or maybe they just weren't sure on how to make a suitable ending to satisfy a reader. Right then and there, I knew we had to have a whole class discussion. I decided to revisit a couple of those winter leads that I mentioned in another post. Underneath each lead, I placed two boxes. One box had a "basic or boring" ending written inside of it. The other box was labelled "Expert" and it was blank. I wanted students to practice re-reading the beginning of their stories to help them come up with a suitable ending. They worked in small groups talking and sharing ideas. Here are two exceptional endings!

"Skating outside can be a cold adventure if you live in Winnipeg. When I skate a warm feeling rushes through me because skating makes me feel happy, comforted and relaxed. Skating helps me express my inner being. The winter weather doesn't stop me! You have to grab life and make the most of it, even if there's frigid temperatures all winter long. What are you waiting for?

When I got outside today the cold knocked me down. But playing hockey re-energized me and lifted me back up. Why are moms always right? Playing outside in a game of hockey is where all the action lives. In fact, my cheeks are rosy, my muscles are bursting and my heart is filled with joy.
My next plan is to have students re-read their writer's notebook and review their entries - focusing on the lead and ending of each piece. 

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