Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vivid Adjectives

Adjectives describe nouns. Nouns are people, places, things and ideas.  You can usually touch a noun.

Adjectives add colortexturesize, number, shape, and  





 to nouns.  

For example, you could write:

I have a cat.

Or you could write:
I have a big, fluffy, sleepy orange with black stripes cat.

When reading the first sentence, the reader might imagine:

When reading the second sentence, the reader might imagine this:


Writers are magicians who use words like paintbrushes to create vivid images in the readers' minds.

Assignment:

Be a magician. Write a descriptive sentence that creates a colorful, vibrant, textured image in my mind. I will make a picture of each image you create.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In Storytelling, Three is a Magic Number

Roy Peter Clark, in his article,"If I were a carpenter," suggests 20 tips for wonderful writing.  He writes, "In storytelling, three is the magic number. Four is too many. Two is not enough."

So when writing, strive to provide three examples each time. When you make lists of three, remember to add a comma between the first and second example. You can choose whether you add a comma between the second example and the word and. Whatever you choose to do, you're supposed to stick with that choice throughout your writing piece.

Assignment:  Complete each sentence below in the comment section.


My favorite objects in my bedroom are my ______________, ______________ and _____________.


During summer vacation, I like to _______________, _______________ and ________________.


My favorite activities in school are ________________, ______________ and _______________.

Here's my example of the assignment.
My favorite objects in my bedroom are my poetry books, Navajo blanket and puffy comforter.
During summer vacation, I like to travel, ride my bike and swim.
My favorite activities in school are technology, art projects and read aloud.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Strong Verbs

"LET GO of go!"


Strong verbs make the movie in fiction and the documentary in nonfiction.  Strong verbs allow the reader to specifically imagine a story's action.  


Young children often over use the verb, go.  They will write stories such as this: 


 I go to the park.  I go on the swings. I go to the sandbox.  I go down the slide.


That's a great story if you're in the early grades, but by the time you're in fourth grade it's time to let go of go and use strong verbs in your writing.


That story would have been more interesting if it was written like this:


After a long day at school, I skip to Lake Park.  I fly high into the clouds on the swings, and I build giant sandcastles and villages in the soft, wet sand in the sandbox.  Just before I march home, I climb up the steep ladder and zip down the silver slide as fast as an airplane in the sky. 

I underlined the strong verbs in the story above.

Blog Post Assignment: Write three sentences about what you do after school.  Include at least three strong verbs. Use snappy word to help you find vibrant verbs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Specific Nouns

Wonderful writers use specific nouns when they write.  Instead of writing a sentence like this, "He goes to the park," a wonderful writer might write a sentence like this instead, "Michael rides his blue bike to Hannah Williams Park after school every Monday afternoon."  Wonderful writers name things specifically.

Nouns are words that name persons, places, things and ideas.  Write two sentences about your life and use at least 3 specific nouns in each sentence.  Most specific nouns are proper nouns so don't forget to capitalize them.

Ms. Devlin's Example: (I underlined all the specific nouns)

Uncle Neil and Aunt Miriam treated me to my first airplane ride to Miami, Florida when I was sixteen years old.

My husband, Mike, sons, Ryan, Matt and Sean, and I enjoy biking around the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Metaphor

A metaphor compares two unlike things without using like or as.

Write two metaphors that describe you in the comment section.  Add a metaphor used in a book you're reading as a bonus if you'd like.  Complete this assignment by Wednesday, October 12.

Ms. Devlin's Example:

I'm a dolphin when I play in the giant waves at Coast Guard Beach.

I'm a tiger when I'm rooting for my son at a football game.

Also can you find the metaphors in this song.


As sung by Katy Perry

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
[| From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/k/katy-perry-lyrics/firework-lyrics.html |]
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Monday, October 3, 2011

Similes

Similes: Similes are comparisons that compare two unlike things using the words "like" or "as."  On the Writing Craft blog comment by writing two sentences that use a simile which explains experiences you had this summer.

Also, can you find the similes in this song:

Smile lyrics
Songwriters: Bose, Jeremy; Daly, Blair; Harding, J; Shafer, Matthew;

You're better then the best
I'm lucky just to linger in your light
Cooler than the flip side
Of my pillow, that's right

Completely unaware
Nothing can compare to where
You send me, lets me know that it's okay
Yeah, it's okay
And the moments where my good times start to fade

You make me smile like the sun, fall out of bed
Sing like bird, dizzy in my head
Spin like a record, crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile

Even when you're gone,
Somehow you come along just like
A flower pokin' through the sidewalk crack
And just like that
You steal away the rain, and just like that

You make me smile like the sun, fall out of bed
Sing like bird, dizzy in my head
(From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/u/uncle-kracker-lyrics/smile-lyrics.html)
Spin like a record, crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile

Don't know how I lived without you
'Cause every time that I get around you
I see the best of me inside your eyes
You make me smile

You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild

You make me smile like the sun, fall out of bed
Sing like bird, dizzy in my head
Spin like a record, crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile
(Oh, you make me smile)
Oh, you make me smile
(Oh, you make me smile)
Oh, you make me smile