In this lesson, we learned how to:
1. Include more than one piece of information in a sentence
2. Understand the relationship between main and supporting ideas
3. Write a paragraph so that it will include all the information you want it to and do so in an organized way.
We learned how to write a core sentence and then add five pieces of information to it. We had to write five sentences adding one new piece of information to each sentence:
Core sentence: The boy found the dog.
1. The boy was nine years old when he found the dog.2. The nine year old boy found a brown and white dog.3. The nine year old boy found a brown and white beagle.4. The nine year old boy used a rope to tie the brown and white beagle.5. The nine year old boy was at the park when he found the brown and white beagle then he used a rope to tie on.(by Dylan, age 8)
The next step was to write a paragraph. We decided on a subject and what information we wanted to give. We focused on 5 main points which would each be turned into a sentence. We listed the points and wrote three thing about each point. We then wrote a topic sentence.
Jordan did this assignment when he was 11 1/2 - about 1 1/2 years ago. Here is what his journal looks like;
Step 1: The idea of my paragraph: An old stuffed toy that had been hiding under my matress.
Step 2: My list of descriptive points:1) The kind of animal it wasa) small blue eyesb) fluffy grey and black headc) stuffed kitten
2) The condition of its fura) course furb) stringy gray and black furc) tattered
3) Missing Stuffinga) stuffing missing in the earsb) stuffing spilling out tailc) no stuffing in the middle
4) The holes and worn spotsa) one tiny holeb) lots of worn flattened spotsc) flat med. tail, worn eyes
5) How dirty it wasa) really dirty black spotsb) stained whiskersc) clay on its ear
Tense: PastPerson: 1st
Step 3: Topic sentence
Here is Jordan's paragraph:
I had been told to clean my bed and when my mom came to check it she saw that stuff had fallen in the cracks, so she took off the matress and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a very familiar face looking up at me. I recognized a fluffy grey and black head with small blue eyes and saw it was my little stuffed kitten. It had been under there for so long its grey and black fur felt stringy and coarse as I picked up the tattered cat. My hands sunk into the middle where all the stuffing was missing and I noticed there was stuffing spilling out of the ears and tail. As I was holding it I poked my finger through a little hole and ruffled up the worn spots and flattened out its big worn ears. As I was rubbing out its ears I rubbed out a piece of clay and noticed its black dirty spots and decided he needed a bath.
Nathan, who is 10, is finishing up his paragraph today. He is doing the same assignment, but at a younger age than when Jordan wrote his. He is writing about Ralfie. Here is his rough draft:
I have had many Ralfies, but the one I have now is my favorit since the first one I had. Ralfie is a small white stuffed polar bear. He is worn and tattered, but still a soft cuddly bear. He has blue marble eyes and a very sparkling face but a blue stane on his nose. He's cuddly, but has worn spots and holes on his nose. And he is pretty clean but dirty on his foot and piece of tape on his foot. I better keep my Ralfie clean so my mom doesn't throw it away like my other Ralfies.
A note: This one has only been through the washer a couple times, so he still has some life in him yet. :-) His first Ralfie was his beloved Ralfie (hence why they all have been named Ralfie), except Ralfie liked to play in the sand box with him.
So, now we will correct the grammar and misspelled words and write them on a spelling list. We then do a record of progress sheet, where we pick out the best sentence we wrote, a mistake we made this week, the sentence with the mistake and the sentence rewritten showing how we fixed the mistake.
Nathan and Dylan are working on Writing Strands 3, which was written for ages 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Jordan finished level 3 and is just starting level 4 which is for ages 13-14 or after completing Writing Strands 3. We use WS as a systematic way to learn how to write. The author recommends working on WS for a week and then taking a week off ot read and discuss ideas. We do lots of other writing in notebooking, journaling, etc. so this works well for us!
Here is a review by Donna Young that I found today if you are interested in learning more.