Our Poetry Study

This week, we started a poetry study in our writing lessons.

Students have participated in “poetry immersion” all week. This means we read lots of poems and analysed how they are written. Students observed the mood of different poems and the writing craft that is used.

We discussed what we sometimes see in poems. Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Humour
  • Emotions or feelings
  • Rhyming
  • Rhythm
  • Repeated words or phrases
  • Descriptive language
  • Similes
  • Metaphors
  • “Show me, don’t tell me”
  • A message or moral
  • A twist

We also focussed on how figurative language is used in poetry. We investigated six different kinds of figurative language:

  • Alliteration
  • Metaphor
  • Similie
  • Hyperbole (hy-per-bol-ee)
  • Personification
  • Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pia)

Figurative Language

Some of these types of figurative language were new to the students and they enjoyed learning the new vocabulary. Learning how to say hyperbole and onomatopoeia was a challenge!

***

Today, students used the knowledge they have gained about the art of poetry to write their own poems. First, we went outside and observed the environment around us. Students took notes of the things they could see, hear, smell and feel.

We then used these observations as inspiration for our poetry. Everyone did an amazing job! You can read all of the poems in the slideshow below. Click the full screen icon to view the poems properly. Enjoy!

***

What do you think of the poems?

Can you find any examples of figurative language in the poems?

What have you learnt about poetry so far?

Persuasive Writing

We have  been working on our persuasive writing skills for the past two weeks.

Persuasive writing is a type of non-fiction writing used to convince the reader to agree with the author about an issue. The author expresses their opinion using personal beliefs and factual information in this argumentative writing style.

During the immersion phase of our this writing unit, we investigated a variety of persuasive texts and learnt more about:

  • The structure and organisation of a persuasive text
  • Types of arguments and reasons used
  • How to turn factual information into a persuasive argument
  • Word choice (emotive language, technical terms, rhetorical questions, powerful verbs, strong adjectives)
  • Cause and effect
  • Linking words.

To practise the skills we have been learning about, students wrote a persuasive text at the end of last week. They were given three ideas for their persuasive text:

  • Barwon Heads is the best to live.
  • The best pet to have is a ….
  • The best book in the world is …

However, students were free to choose their own topic if they wished to. There are clearly a lot of animal lovers in 4B, as many students were keen to write a persuasive text about their preferred pet!

Below are the persuasive texts written by the 4B students. They did a great job applying their skills and using strong and persuasive language to express their opinions. Happy reading!

***

We will continue our persuasive writing unit next week. Students will keep building their skills and honing their ability to persuade through writing.

***

What do you think of the persuasive texts?

How has your persuasive writing improved?

Where do you see persuasive writing?

4B Newspaper Articles

The 4B students transformed into print journalists last week, with everyone writing their own newspaper article.

Prior to writing our own, we investigated newspaper articles to discover what information is included and analyse how they are written.

Each student chose a local topic, from BHPS or the community, to report on.

Students were encouraged to include:

  • A catchy headline
  • An interesting “lead” to capture the reader’s attention
  • Informative details
  • Background information
  • Formal language
  • Quotes from relevant people
  • An image.

Everyone did a fantastic job and really got into the spirit of writing like a journalist. You can read all of the newspaper articles below. Press the full screen button to view. Enjoy!

***

***

What do you think of our news articles?

What kinds of articles do you like to read?

What writing skills did you improve on whilst writing your article?

Investigating Newspaper Articles

In 4B, we have been studying newspaper articles in our recent writing sessions.

We have read a variety of articles together as a whole class and individually. A news article discusses current or recent news of either general interest (found in daily newspapers) or of a specific topic (which can be found in daily newspapers or specialty newspapers such as finance or political papers).

Students analysed each article by identifying the following elements:

  • Who the article is about
  • What the article is about
  • Where the news is taking place
  • When the news happened
  • Why it is news
  • Who is quoted
  • What background information is included.

We have also looked at the structure of the articles and the language that journalists use.

***

Students were asked to bring in articles from home to study. One of our lessons involved students doing a newspaper investigation by reading these articles that were spread around the classroom. Everyone created a Google Sheet on their iPad and recorded the key elements of each article to immerse themselves in the writing genre.

***

Students are now writing their own news articles. We look forward to sharing them in a future blog post!

***

What have your learnt about newspaper articles?

What types of news articles do you enjoy reading?

Writing Fictional Narratives

We have been studying fictional narratives in class.

A fictional narrative is a made up story. Last term we wrote personal narratives, which are about real-life memories. Although our fictional narratives are generally not based on real experiences, students are able to adopt some of the same writing strategies in both forms of narrative writing.

***

We spent the first week of this term “immersing” ourselves in fictional narratives to investigate the key elements of a well written narrative.

We focussed on:

  • The structure of a fictional narrative
  • Developing ideas to form a quality narrative
  • Character development

Narratives can be structured in different ways, but we identified the typical organisation of a fictional narrative:

  • Beginning (introduce the main character/s, describe the setting)
  • Middle – part one (complication)
  • Middle – part two (series of events that occur as a result of the complication)
  • Ending (complication is resolved).

***

We read a variety of picture story books which are good examples of narratives. These included Stellaluna by Jannel Cannon, A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco.

You can listen to these stories below.

 

 

***

What is your fictional narrative about?

What kinds of narratives do you like to write?

What kinds of narratives do you like to read?

How have your fictional narrative writing skills improved?

Personal Narratives

Recently, we posted about our Writer’s Workshop sessions.

For the past couple of weeks, our Writer’s Workshop sessions have been devoted to working on our personal narrative drafts. A personal narrative is a text written about a personal experience. All students chose an entry from their Writer’s Notebooks as inspiration for their personal narrative. Students then worked through the writing process to draft, revise, edit and publish their work.

Drafting personal narratives

Drafting personal narratives

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

During this process, we spent time learning about the Six (+1) Traits of Writing. Learning about these traits helped the students to build their writing skills and focus on crafting their writing.

The Six Traits of Writing are:

  • Ideas
  • Organisation
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions

The +1 trait is:

  • Presentation

***

Throughout the writing process, Miss Jordan conferenced with students to give them feedback on their work. All of the 4B students did a terrific job and worked very hard on their personal narratives. Miss Jordan is very proud of the students’ finished products!

Some of our personal narratives are presented below. Enjoy!

***

To celebrate this writing cycle, 4B interacted with Miss Campbell’s grade, 1B, and the students shared their writing with each other. It was wonderful to read the personal narratives written by the grade ones, and it was great to see the students giving each other feedback about their work.

 Here are some photos from our sharing session.

***

What did you think of the personal narratives?

How does writing and drafting improve your writing?

Can you explain one of the Six (+1) Traits of Writing?

Did you enjoy sharing your work with the grade one students?

Writer’s Workshop

In 4B, we love our daily Writer’s Workshop sessions.

In our Writer’s Workshop, we use Writer’s Notebooks and then the Writing Process to produce pieces of published writing.

A Writer’s Notebook is a tool that is used to help students collect ideas for writing. To personalise the Writer’s Notebooks, students decorated their books with colourful collages. They look fantastic!

P1090542

P1090540

Last week, we wrote entries in our Writer’s Notebooks. This week, we are working on writing personal narratives. A personal narrative is a text about a personal experience or memory.

***

This is how the Writing Process in our Writer’s Workshop works:

1. We generate ideas for writing on an ideas page in our Writer’s Notebooks. Ideas can be recorded at any opportunity.

2. We write short entries in our Writer’s Notebook to expand on our ideas.

3. We read through our entries and select one entry to draft.

4. We complete a brief plan prior to drafting to map out our personal narrative.

5. We draft our personal narrative in our draft books. We capture the essence of the text from the entry but the draft is more detailed. It also zooms in on the key idea.

6. We revise our draft by making changes to the content to improve the writing. This stage is all about working on the craft of writing. We can draft as few or many times as necessary to achieve the best possible draft.

7. We edit the final draft by checking the punctuation, grammar, spelling and ensuring it makes sense.

8. We publish the draft to turn it into a complete, polished piece of writing.

Our first writing genre for the year is personal narratives. We will complete other cycles of writing focussing on different genres throughout the year.

***

We brainstormed the key features of a personal narrative and made a class anchor chart.

To learn more about personal narratives, we read some mentor texts that are examples of personal narratives. In particular we analysed two great texts, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.

We then discussed the importance of selecting a “small moment or memory”. We used the analogy of a watermelon to ensure our personal narratives would be focussed on a small “seed” idea, rather than a broad “watermelon” topic.

watermelon

 Here is our class watermelon with our small moment “seed” topics.

P1090544

***

What are the elements of a personal narrative?

Can you provide a tip for writing a quality personal narrative?

How have your writing skills developed so far this year?

Feature Articles

During the past couple of weeks, we have been doing a feature article study in our writing lessons.

Feature articles are written pieces we find in magazines, newspapers and online, where the writer provides information about a topic in an interesting and engaging manner and makes us care about the topic.

We looked at a variety of feature articles in class and studied the different elements, including:

  • The purpose of the feature article
  • How the article lead (introduction) grabs the readers’ attention
  • How facts/research/statistics/quotes are included to support the purpose of the article
  • How the article includes personal experiences/anecdotes to help the reader relate
  • How feature articles are different to regular news articles or information reports
  • How the conclusion ties up the story, leaves the reader wanting more or makes a link with the lead.

***

Students were free to choose a topic of their choice for their own feature articles. Below are Nelly and Georgie’s feature articles. Enjoy!

 ***

What did you learn about feature article writing?

What kind of feature articles do you enjoy reading?

Poetry Study – Part Two

During the past few weeks, we have been studying poetry as our writing focus.

After analysing a variety of poems in class, students then wrote poems about a variety of topics, including:

  • The Environment
  • Feelings and/or emotions
  • Our class novel, The One and Only Ivan
  • Lighthearted/humour
  • Free choice

Students used the writing process to perfect their poems. We have been using the writing process for all of our genres this year and it has really helped everyone to develop their writing skills.

We looked at a wide variety of poems and discussed that some poems follow a certain structure (eg. Haiku poems, cinquain poems, limericks, rhyming poems). When writing their own poems, students were encouraged to focus on language, word choice and rhythm rather than specific structures. The results were very impressive!

 

 

 

***

What did you think of our poems?

What kind of poems do you like to write?

Write a poem in your comment!

Poetry Study

This week we have started a poetry study in our writing lessons.

Our poetry study will feature two areas of learning:

  • First, students will participate in “poetry immersion”. In class we are currently reading lots of poems and analysing how they are written. Students are observing the mood of different poems and the writing craft that is used.
  • Next, students will begin drafting their own poems to publish.

We discussed what we sometimes see in poems. Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Humour
  • Emotions or feelings
  • Rhyming
  • Rhythm
  • Repeated words or phrases
  • Descriptive language
  • Similes
  • Metaphors
  • “Show me, don’t tell me”
  • A message or moral
  • A twist

We also brainstormed types of poems we already know:

  • Haiku
  • Cinquain
  • Limerick
  • Rhyming
  • Colour
  • Concrete/Shape
  • Acrostic

The Australian Children’s Poetry website is a great resource. It contains an extensive collection of poems written by Australian poets.

Australian Children's Poetry website

Here is a short, humourous cartoon about a boy who wrote a poem.


***

Challenge – in your comment, write a poem titled “Cold”.

It can be any kind of poem you like!

***

Do you have a favourite poem?

What sort of poems do you like writing?

What are your favourite poetry themes or topics?

What have you been observing in the poems we are studying in class?