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Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 1 – Tremendous Transformations in Writing (Rising 3rd/4th)

Posted by on Monday, June 10, 2019 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

We had a great first day with Tremendous Transformations in Writing!

We started our day by exploring the concept of transformation. Transformations occur within cycles such as the rock cycle, the water cycle, and life cycles. Transformations can also occur within a person–in thoughts, emotions, or attitudes–or within stories, as with a change of setting or the introduction of a new character. We discovered that transformations can happen as quickly as Legos can be snapped together or as slowly as the gradual process of aging. After analyzing transformations from Pixar film clips, students brainstormed examples of transformations and considered key similarities and differences among their examples to create generalizations. Creating conceptual generalizations was challenging, but our class did great!
We established that:
– Transformations involve growth.
– Transformations make things interesting.
– A single transformation can affect many other things.
We will be considering these and other generalizations throughout the week as we write!

Speaking of writing, we definitely spent time writing today! Students enjoyed several short free writing periods as well as structured timed writing activities to help them develop interesting characters. We also had a great Google Hangouts session with Caroliena Cabada, a fiction writer who is one of Iowa State University’s Pearl Hogrefe Fellows. Caroliena shared several powerful lessons she has learned through her own writing, such as how easy and fun it can be to create characters inspired by life, the value of creating contrasting characters, the importance of showing how a character changes, and how thinking of transformation helps her conduct interesting “writing experiments” to get to know her characters better.

Our goals today were to write to explore possibilities for character and plot (which we did through free-writing and writing to prompts), create characters with character arcs (we are well on our way!), and support each other in our writing by giving helpful feedback (in the form of description, praise, and questioning). Students met in small groups at the end of the day to share an excerpt from a work in progress–a page from a story, a paragraph, or even a character map–and receive helpful feedback from peers. Students supported and encouraged each other well!

We have a great group of creative, eager writers! Several students even asked to take their notebooks home to keep writing, which is exciting! If your child brought a notebook home, please help make sure it returns tomorrow so that everyone is prepared for a fun, productive day of writing.

I’m looking forward to exploring conflict, character arc, and story structure with our young writers tomorrow!