Monday, September 21, 2015

Understanding Theme and Introducing the 100 Word Challenge

What lesson does Tarik learn in "Nadia the Willful"? Could this be a clue to the theme of the story?

 Today's Learning Objectives   (1.) Identify and Understand the theme of a story. (2.) Write narratives to develop real or imaged experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 

Identifying and Understanding Theme in "Nadia the Willful"  Today we will closely examine two suggested themes of the short story "Nadia the Willful," which can essentially be considered two different claims. We will select the the claim that best fits our understanding of the story's theme and provide evidence from the story to support our ideas. You can find the assignment Nadia the Willful - Understanding Theme in your Language Arts folders. 

Introducing the 100 Word Challenge  Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? Are you ready to publish your writing and have it read by people all over the world? If so, the 100 Word Challenge is certainly for you. 

What's the 100 Word Challenge all about? According to 100 Word Challenge: "We ask children to write in school but often there is no apparent purpose that they can see other than pleasing their teacher! This can prompt some very reluctant writers in our classrooms. The 100 Word Challenge seeks to address this problem. It is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog."

100 Word Challenge Student Samples  Last week the prompt was an image, as students were tasked with creating a short creative narrative story inspired by the photograph below. 

Below you can find a a few samples of what students from around the world came up with.  

Signing Up and This Week's Challenge  Before we examine this week's prompt and begin the writing process, let's sign up for the online 100 Word Challenge program, which is being run in partnership with the Night Zookeeper, here. You will be asked for a class code (which I will provide you), as well as directed to create a username and password (make sure you select something that you can remember). Generally, we will not submit to this site until our stories are ready for publishing

Now let's examine this week's 100 Word Challenge prompt, which can be found below. 

How can you weave those four words into a creative story of roughly 100 words? How can you also incorporate some of the elements of narrative writing, including sensory details, imagery, transitions, and dialogue? That is your task. 

Later this week we will discuss the elements of narrative writing in more detail. But today, if time permits, decide on your basic story and start writing. Before ultimately publishing our stories to the official site and possibly sharing with a worldwide audience, we will start writing using a Google Doc. You can find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: ... but under the earth ... in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Let's start writing! 

Homework  (1.) Continue to work on the assignment Nadia the Willful - Understanding Theme, which is due on Friday, September 25. (2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: ... but under the earth ... story, which we will publish on Friday, September 25. (3.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least two entries by the end of the week.)  

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