Storybird

 This week students have enjoyed using Storybird to create stories.

Storybirds are short online stories that are inspired by art. Miss Jordan signed up all of the 4KJ students through her teacher account.

There are all sorts of different artwork you can choose from to illustrate your Storybird. The students chose their artwork first to help them think of story ideas.

Here are some of the stories…

What did you think of the Storybirds?

What would you like to write a Storybird about?

How do you think Storybird can help improve your creative writing skills?

Descriptive Writing

Good writers can create a picture in their readers’ minds.

They can do this by:

  • using interesting vocabulary
  • elaborating on details
  • showing, rather than telling, some of the details
  • describing all five senses (what can be seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelt)
  • using lots of adjectives (describing words)
  • using metaphors or similies to compare two things
  • using synonyms (words with similar meanings) to make interesting word choices.

Found Blur Motion

The students in 4KM and 4KJ were given the following short, uninteresting recount.

Miss Jordan and Mrs Morris went to the beach. They put down their things and went for a swim. They sat on the sand. Then they went home. 

The children were asked to edit the writing to make it more interesting. They only had a short amount of time to do this but many students did a great job of creating a mind picture for their readers.

Here are some improved recounts by Ella, Harry, Logan M, Paris, Millie and Rochelle.

Could you leave a comment with your own improved description of the beach recount?

Do you have any tips for making writing more descriptive?

Procedural Texts

During the year, 4KM and 4KJ have focussed on a variety of text types or genres during our writing lessons.

This week we have been writing procedural texts.

A procedural text instructs the reader how to do or make something. There are usually three parts to a procedural text:

1. The goal or title – this tells the reader what will be achieved.

2. Requirements or materials – a list of the items needed to achieve the goal.

3. Instructions or method – a step by step description of what the reader needs to do to achieve the goal.

Common procedural texts are recipes, rules for games, science experiments, instructional manuals (eg. putting furniture or toys together) and operating manuals (eg. how to operate a vacuum cleaner).

We learnt that it is very important to be specific when writing the instructions. Every detail possible should be included so that the reader knows exactly what to do.

Here are two examples of procedural texts that were written in our class this week…

How to Eat a Banana

By Trent

What you need:

  • A banana

Method:

1. Firstly, you must get a banana.

2. Hold the banana in your hand with the stem up.

3. Hold the stem with your hand.

4. Pull skin back in any direction.

5. One strip of the banana skin should be off.

6. Get the other two strips of skin and pull them down.

7. All strips of skin should now be down.

8. Hold the banana up to your mouth.

9. Put half a mouthful of banana into your mouth and bite it off.

10. Take the banana away from your mouth.

11. Chew it.

12. Do everything from step 8-13 until done.

13. When finished, put the banana skin in the bin.

                             ****************

How to Brush Your Teeth

By Liv

Requirements:

  • A soft bristle toothbrush
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Sink
  • Mouthwash or water
  • Cup (optional)
  • Floss (optional)

Instructions:

1. With the toothbrush in one of your hands, squeeze a centimetre of toothpaste onto the bristles of the toothbrush.

2. Turn the tap on cold, and wet your toothbrush to let the toothpaste soften.

3. Put the toothbrush into your mouth and slowly brush in small circles.

4. Make sure you brush all of your top teeth and your bottom teeth, back and front.

5. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes, twice per day.

6. Once you have finished brushing your teeth, before removing your toothbrush, gently brush the top of your tongue to get rid of any bacteria.

7. Take the toothbrush out of your mouth, turn the tap on cold and rinse your toothbrush out.

8. Grab the cup, fill a quarter of it with water and rinse out your mouth.

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What did you think of Trent and Liv’s procedural texts?

When have you used a procedural text to make or do something?

Do you have a favourite text type or genre of writing?

Monster Global Project

In 4KM and 4KJ we love working on projects with our blogging buddies. We also enjoy learning about traditions in other countries.

It was recently Halloween and we have just completed a fun monster-themed project with our friends in Mr Avery’s class. Mr Avery’s sixth grade students live in Massachussets, USA.

This is how the project worked:

    1. Students in 4KM and 4KJ were matched up with a partner in Mr Avery’s class.
    2. All students drew a picture of a monster.
    3. Next, the students wrote a detailed description of their own monster.
    4. The two classes switched their writing (but didn’t swap their pictures).
    5. The students had to draw their partner’s monster using the detail in the written description.
    6. We compared the original drawing to the drawing our partner made of the monster!

The results:

The results of the project were so interesting! Here is the writing that 4KM and 4KJ students prepared along with their picture and the picture that their partner in Mr Avery’s class prepared.

We learnt:

  • Writing needs to be very clear and detailed for someone to generate the same mental image that you started with.
  • Writing is an excellent way to help people create a mental image when it is done well.
  • When you leave details out of your writing, people can’t read your mind to imagine what you were thinking.
  • Good readers create mental images when they’re reading.
  • Working together with other classes is fun!

Be sure to check out Mr Avery’s blog post to see the results of his students drawing our monster pictures!

Last year Mr Avery completed the monster project with Mr Salsich’s class. Click here to read about it.

What else did you learn from the project?

After reading our descriptions, did our monsters look the way you imagined?

Have you got any tips for writing good descriptions?

The Tale Trail

Thank you to our friend, Mr Avery, for organising this project and creating this post for us!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking part in a collaborative project called The Tale Trail. Classes will be joining together to write and illustrate a story through their blogs.

It will start with one class writing the first part of the story and posting it to their blog.
Then, the next class will read the beginning of the story and add on to it through their blog. We’ll continue until we get to the last class. They’ll put the finishing touches on it and wrap the whole story up!

Each class will have 3 school days to work on their portion of the story. At the bottom of each post, there will be links to the parts of the story that have already been done as well as the next part of the story once it’s finished. In order to read the whole thing, you’ll be taken on a journey through the blogs of all six classes.

Down below you’ll be able to find the dates around when each class should be posting their portion of the story. You can also see a map showing the locations of all the classes.

Of course one of the most important story elements are plot, characters, and setting. The plot is what takes place in a story.
The characters are who is in the story. The setting is when the story takes place. As of right now, all of that is missing from ours!

We need your help in voting for what our story will be about. Use the poll below to vote for your favorite story topic.

Voting will close on Saturday, May 5th. Then, check Mr. Salsich’s class blog next week to find out what topic was chosen as they kick off the first part of the project!

What topic did you vote for and why?

What’s your favorite part about writing a story?

Turning Sounds into Words

4KM and 4KJ have been doing some more descriptive writing this week.

Yesterday they listened to this rainforest soundtrack while trying to put into words what they were picturing in their heads. The students couldn’t watch the video, just listen.

Maha: The birds chirping sounds like a pleasant whistle and the thuder is deafening. The wind is absolutely calm and it makes the chirps sound light and soft. The rain sounds like it is hitting the bank of a river. As the water rushes down the bank, it makes a relaxing sound.

Brandon: Birds are chirping in trees as you are hearing a small waterfall in play. Small drips come down from trees as small storms rumble the earth. There is a soothing sound of wind floating through the trees. Gently, pieces of water go up through the tide while a storm grows louder and louder. Raindrops now pelt down on the water.

Jess: Birds are chirping with the sound of thunder in my eardrums. I can hear the sound of trees rustling with thunder through it. The birds are like a song in my mind and it feels like they want to wake me up. Rain is pouring down with a couple of little tip taps. The tapping of the rain is very loud and clear.

Today the students listened to a different soundtrack and tried to describe what they were hearing and imagining.

Thomas: Noisy trains pull up at the big train station. Someone is puffing and panting through the city. A lot of loud music plays in the beautiful streets. Cars rumble right through the busy city as people talk really loudly. People are honking horns in their big cars as children and parents run through the crowded streets.

Iesha: Noisy people are chatting on the freeway as lots of ear piercing trucks screech by. A loud wedding in a tall church plays music. Lots of honking horns come from bad tempered drivers. The long traffic jams make people late for work, plane rides and school.

Travis: The angry policeman chases the streets after a man who just ran a red light. People trip as the man pushes them out of the way. Cars screech their brakes as the man dodges traffic and runs across the road. 

What did you think of our descriptive writing?

What adjectives did you see in the students’ writing?

Can you write a description of one of the soundtracks?