Context of writing
Written by a third grade boy in a Writer’s Workshop style class where students had free choice of writing topics.
What is this child able to do as a writer?
- Generates an interesting idea for a story.
- Uses descriptive language (‘relaxing at my dad’s house’).
- Writes a story that flows sequentially from beginning to end.
- Uses punctuation correctly — periods at the end of sentences and an exclamation point to show excitement.
- Uses an apostrophe to show ownership (‘my dad’s house’).
What does this child need to learn next?
Although this story has a beginning, middle and end, it ends rather abruptly. This writer is a reluctant writer who just wanted his story to end. The writer should be encouraged to add more details to the middle of his story and make a longer, more drawn out ending. A popular reading comprehension strategy is to have students write alternate endings to books they have read.
Since he has already made it unrealistic with a shark in his dad’s swimming pool, the teacher could challenge him to make several endings, each one more amazing and creative than the last. The class could then get involved by voting on which ending they like most. Here’s an example of an assignment in which students are asked to write an alternate ending to Lemony Snicket.