This week's writing blog is brought to you by Mia Lommuntad.
This week in writing, we started typing our stories. But instead of using computers to write, we are using the iPads. We’re using the microphones on the iPads to make writing our stories on the computers or iPads easier. In the Pop (Patterns of Power) section of our binders, we are writing sentences of dialogue ending with commas. We are also learning how to use dialogue tags. Also we’re learning about open and closed quotes and what their uses are.
This week's writing update is by Harrison Reed.
In writing we have been planning our realistic fiction stories and beginning to draft scenes. We did the heart of the story and we are doing the climax of the story. Last week in writing, we were studying our characters and making them sound more believable. We were also writing about making the story more believable.
This week we finished up our study of figurative language. We spend the first weeks of school on this topic because fourth grade writers are expected to use figurative language in all genres of writing this year. This week we worked on hyperbole, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Writers have tried out writing examples of each, as well as looking for examples in literature.
Our writing convention this week was end punctuation. We studied how writers use different end punctuation to tell the reader how to read their sentences. We also discussed why writers use end punctuation. We will continue this skill next week.
Fourth grade writers have been working hard this week. We are learning about craft moves that writers use. This week we looked at when writers capitalize and noticed they capitalize the beginning of a sentence and proper nouns. We also discussed why writers do this.
We also started our study of figurative language this week. Writers learned that we use figurative language to help our readers "see" our writing. This week, we learned idioms, similes, metaphors, and personification.
We ended the week by putting into practice what we learned. Writers could write in any genre about any topic. There were only 2 requirements: use capitals correctly and try out some figurative language. I was very impressed with their writing stamina and willingness to take risks by sharing their work with others.
Our writers have been working hard applying all the techniques they have learned this year to a realistic fiction story. We are focusing on craft, elaboration, grammar, and punctuation.
Craft is when a writer uses sophisticated word choice and figurative language in their work. Elaboration is adding more detail and description to a story and includes a characters thoughts and feelings.
Our assessment on this will be next week.
Our writers have now learned almost all of the parts of speech. We only have interjections left. At this point, fourth graders should be able to identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, and prepositions in a sentence. .
Just last week, they learned about modal verbs. These are verbs of permission, ability, necessity, and suggestion. It is the difference between 'Can I...' and 'May I...'. Students are beginning to correct themselves when they speak, using 'Can I...' and 'May I.
Writers are finishing up information essays about the Winter Olympics. They chose topics covering almost all the winter events from curling to alpine skiing. These essays build on a unit earlier this year in which writers wrote information books using Book Creator on the iPad.
Our next unit will be writing compare contrast essays. Then we will move back into narrative writing.
We have finally begun writing narrative stories. Students will be creating realistic fiction stories using craft and elaboration to show what their character is thinking and feeling. This week we have focused on how characters react to situation noting that writers need to show a character's reaction through thoughts, feelings, action, and dialogue.
Writers are finishing up their information books this week. They wrote books using Book Creator on the iPads. They chose their own topics, completed research, and wrote books using the facts they learned. I will be sending home printed copies of the books before the Winter Break.
Report cards go home this Friday and you may see terms like "elaboration", "craft", and "mechanics of writing." If a writer needs to work on elaboration, that means she needs to add more detail to her writing. In opinion writing that means giving examples, facts, or anecdotes to support the reasons for their claim. If a writer needs to work on craft that means he needs to make deliberate word choices, use figurative language, and create vivid images for the reader. Mechanics refer to the correct use of capitalization and punctuation.
Keep checking back here for updates on what our fourth grade writers are doing.