Thursday, February 10, 2011

A talk on writing and revising

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On Monday, my motto was I can do it. It's Thursday and I'm just not so sure now. I was up with the first kidlet at 12:30 and 3:30. A second kidlet is now sick. Hubby doesn't get home until tomorrow night.

I would love to crawl in bed and have someone wake me up when it was time for noms, I mean lunch. But that's not going to happen.

This morning, I'll be giving a talk to two different middle school classes about writing and revising. Of course, my daughter who is in one of these classes is sick so won't be there. But she probably hears enough about writing from me already. I'm excited to talk to the kids. I've read a composition from many of them, and I hope a few tips will help them to understand the importance of revisions. Note to self: do not mention blog post from last week about youngest kidlet's view of revising.

I put together a two page handout with what I consider the most important basics to better writing. I use Dwight V. Swain to talk about his motivation-reaction units and how to respond to stimuli and in what order (feeling, action, speech.) I also show examples of using passive voice and filtering words.

I'm also embracing the Show, Don't Tell philosophy. I've printed off five prologues from Rescued by the Magic of Christmas. Two of these versions contain my critique partner's remarks. I figure if they see what I started with and how I revised until I got to what was published, it might help them see the importance of revisions and why writers revise. Again, I'm hoping to have better luck with these 12, 13 and 14 year olds than my own 8 year old.

Wish me luck!

3 comments:

Brandy said...

Wow, I wish my Daughter could take your talk.
I hope your children feel better today and that your talk goes well!

Mrs. Albert said...

Melissa,

Awesome talk today at school! Thanks so much for sharing your work with our classes. I learned some things that will be great to pass on in the future. Hope your family gets well soon!

Tonia

Melissa McClone said...

Thanks, Brandy! I'm not one for talking in front of people so I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but it was fun!

Thanks for having me, Mrs. Albert. I enjoyed it. The kids had some great questions. I hope the handout helps them. And so glad you got something out of it, too!