I am a writer. Yes, I have a blog, but I love to write. Short stories, research papers, whatever…I love to write. It has been a passion of mine since I was first introduced to note cards and outlines in middle school. My son, however, is not as enthused with note cards or creative writing in general. In fact, he pretty much hates it, but we must begin working more diligently on it this year.
Since I know my son is not the only 7th grade boy who dislikes writing, I got to work on creating a program. I went back on forth on how we should proceed, but in the end I realized we needed something that could be built upon daily or weekly. And something that worked on all four writing styles equally.
I finally came up with something I believe is a winner!
How does it work?
Students will have a picture, image or a theme to work with each month. From there, they will have assigned weekly writing assignments based on the month’s theme. They will will rotate between the four different writing styles – narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive.
While creating this packet, I asked several people if they knew what the four styles were. *crickets* Literally, no one could name all four. So let me give a brief explanation of what each of them are.
Narrative – A narrative tells a story. Whether fiction or non-fiction, doesn’t matter. There are characters, which are described by the author. There is first-person narration (written from a characters point of view) and third-person narration (written from the author’s point of view). Here’s what you need to know about narration: it is a story told by a person, the characters have dialogue, there are definite segments (beginning, intervals and endings) and it generally has a conflict and/or action that takes place. You will use this form of writing in novels, short stories and poetry.
Descriptive – Descriptive describes. That’s a tough one, I know. The main purpose in this style is to describe a character, place or event in great detail. This style can be very poetic when a writer takes the time to describe something in great detail. To really master this style, the writer needs to visualize what they see, hear, smell in the character, place or event and use very descriptive words. I often tell my son to use a thesaurus to expand his vocabulary and use more descriptive words. Descriptive writing is often seen in poetry, journals or daily writings, nature journals/writing and descriptive writing in fiction.
Expository – Expository writing tells the facts or gives an explanation. It is a subject-oriented style, where the author writes about a specific topic without expressing his/her own opinions or ideas. These types of writings are well researched and provide the reader with relevant facts. You will find this type of writing in textbooks, how-to articles, recipes, news stories, business, technical or scientific writing and journals. This writing style is usually in sequential or logical order, so that the facts are built upon and a solid explanation is given.
Persuasive – The point of a persuasive piece is to persuade. The writer is to convince the reader to adhere to a certain idea or influence them change their position on an issue. This particular style of writing is supported by either reasoning and/or facts. This writing style states what a persons opinion, but also includes their own commentary. Persuasive writing is found in editorials, speeches, business pitches/ideas, critiques, review and complaints.
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In this 52-week packet, students will work through each writing style once a month using the same topic/theme for each assignment. It is sort of like a round-robin style of teaching and I think it is a simple way to make sure one style is not left behind.
Over time, students will likely find a style they prefer, but they still need to know and understand each of them. This packet allows them to explore each one equally.
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