The Checklist Challenge (CC), a challenging checklist of editing tasks, is included in ninety percent of the assignments in all one hundred of my books. It is taught extensively in the first couple lessons in each first semester Meaningful Composition book for grades 4 through 9 (and books 2 and 3 have lessons scattered throughout them). There are even downloads teaching nothing but how to complete this amazing editing tool (I really love the CC!).
Teaching MLA Research Reports is not for the faint of heart. After ten years of writing books with this method, I have worked and reworked the systems until I have some that students truly understand and can follow. They are interactive. They are visual. And they work.
The only thing more common in student writing than a run-on sentence is probably the run-on paragraph. Yep…run and run and run and run. And it isn’t the sweet student’s fault! (I have spent twenty years trying to help amazing kids not to be stressed about grammar—I would never blame them! 🙂 ) Paragraph breaking is often not taught well. (I know I wasn’t taught it—I can remember eye-ball measuring my text to see when I should start a new paragraph when I was in school!) This is why we emphasize deciding on what each paragraph will contain ahead of time (and why when kids in our classes do not write their Topic of Paragraph on the outlining space provided for that, they get docked one LETTER grade per missing paragraph topic line; it’s that important!).
I love teaching every type of writing to every age of student! There isn’t a writing lesson that I have written in fifty thousand pages and one hundred books that I don’t look forward to teaching! (There are some grammar ones—direct and indirect objects! And some spelling ones—creating plurals! But not writing!)
My books are so directed and step-by-step that they are truly incredibly fun to teach from.
When you first saw the title of this, maybe you were a little freaked out about the idea of teaching story writing. I know that I used to be before Joshua (my son) taught me how to teach it incrementally, step-by-step with mapping and lists that help students lay out their characters, plot, obstacles, solutions, and more. He is a master teacher and has helped me learn how to teach things that I formerly did not feel comfortable teaching.
Students writing stories this week? Parents/teachers helping kids with stories this week?
Follow this “describing tip” we use with our student to help with the descriptions in your writing:
“Only use an adjective that will cause your reader to have a different picture in his mind than he would have without the adjective.”