Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7 ""Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." ~ Deborah Whipp

Happy Monday! Christmas stories are coming along, though some students are deliberating a little longer than I'd like on those drafts. In the last couple of classes, fifth and sixth graders have reviewed the art and skill of writing dialogue.

Every piece of dialogue should be there to add to the character/s. Done right, dialogue reflects the speech of 'real' people. It invites the reader in and reveals something to them. It moves the plot along and brings the reader into the emotion of the scene. Dialogue should never be included just to make conversation.

As part of this lesson, we reviewed dialogue tags (he muttered, she whispered, Mr. Wilson gasped, etc.). Readers expect to see tags; they are nearly invisible and don't distract from the action. Mosst importantly they reveal how the words are said. (Contrary to popular belief, the words 'said' and 'asked' are not taboo; they simply should not be overused.)

Please remind your child that these [multiple] drafts are due on Friday. If they require more time, your child may not have the opportunity to create/illustrate their book.

Here's an example of a children's story for you to enjoy:

Be well: I'll talk to you soon.