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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

But I don’t know what write about…


How many times do we hear this statement from students? Rick Shelton shared some insight into overcoming this problem with our 5th graders in a lesson on “expository writing” (which is writing that explains something). Shelton had this suggestion for the students:

  1. Make an “expert list.” This would be a list of topics where you are really good, have a good bit of knowledge, and you had a great interest.
  2. When you are asked to write an expository piece, pick something from your expert list.
  3. List three reasons why you like that subject. (“Because” is a pretty good starter.)
  4. Write a paragraph about your first reason. Write another paragraph focusing on the second reason, and then another paragraph focusing on the third reason.

For most people (whether they are 9, 29, 89) getting started is the hardest part about writing. This simple technique is one that we all can use.

Rick Shelton spent a day with us this past week and conducted lessons on writing with classes from grades 3-6. During the next several weeks, he will be returning to spend a day at each of our elementary schools and junior high. Rick’s ability to relate to students through humor that gets their attention, and practical writing techniques which hold their attention, has him in demand all across Alabama and neighboring states as well.

In addition to the work he does in countless schools, Rick is the author of Write Where You Are and Hoggle’s Christmas.

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