Thursday, September 29, 2011

Give Your Story Some Attitude

Now, hold up a sec. When I mean give your story some attitude, I don't necessarily mean that I want your story to have a BAD attitude. However, it does need somewhat of a mood. The mood lets your reader make an emotional connection, otherwise your story is kind of BLAH.
: (
One quick way to set the mood (sometimes called tone) is to use similes. Similes use "like" or "as" to compare two things.

Let's try to make up some using this picture.

First, let me hear you go, "Awwww." This is my bunny and yes, he is adorable.

Back to similes...
I'll start.
That bunny is as soft as a pillow.
The girl thinks the bunny is like a cuddly toy.
The bunny stood at attention like a soldier when Annie came to his cage.
The bunny acted as if he were a prisoner longing for freedom.

What similes come to your mind?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tongue-Twister Time

Sally sells seashells down by the seashore.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

I bet you can tell me what makes these tongue-twisters so fun!
Repetition of the same beginning sound in a phrase or sentence is called ________________.


I use alliteration in poetry more than anywhere else, but I do pay attention to how much I use it. Too much alliteration can be a bad thing. With just the right amount, I can create a smooth transition between words. I want those words to easily roll out of a reader's mouth. In my picture book about a storm, I rely on alliteration for impact:
When that book gets released, it'll be a great resource for teachers who teach alliteration, that's for sure.

Here's a really cool quiz that's challenging because you have to count the sounds and complete the quiz within 60 seconds. It's designed for 9th graders, but I bet you can do it! Try it HERE.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome Back!


I hope everybody had a fun summer. I know I did!

Today, I was thinking about those days long ago when I jumped on the bus and strolled into my elementary school classroom for the first time. I loved, loved, loved school, and looked forward to the end of summer, so I could get back there. I also had (and still have) a fondness for new school supplies, and I couldn't wait to break out those shiny pens, pencils, and notebooks.

After we got settled into our seats, we were always asked to write about our summer vacation. I wrote pages and pages about playing with Barbie dolls under a willow tree, walking across the cornfield to a friend's farm, picking berries, playing kickball, camping, visits to the seashore, and more. Years later, I realized that this was my teacher's sneaky way of learning a couple of things, like, what were my interests and how well did I put my thoughts into words. Was she really interested in what I did over the summer, or was she looking at my misspelled words, weak adjectives, and not-so-perfect cursive handwriting?

Well, I am interested in getting YOU back into writing, so let's get started. But instead of writing about what you did over the summer, I'd like you to write about your fantasy summer. If you could have done anything, what would you have done? If you could have gone anywhere, where would you have gone? And/Or if you had the opportunity to hang out with a certain person from the past, present, or future, who would it be?

IF you are feeling brave, send those one-page stories to me at I will read them, I promise.

Check in next Thursday for a new WIT post. Until then...