Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Narrative Writing...and the Power of Editing!

Students let their imaginations take them away as they creatively wrote narratives--whether personal or fictional--showcasing elements of plot and figures of speech.  Using sentence variety, dialogue, similes, onomatopoeia, foreshadowing, and more, students became authors of 500-700 word short stories (some seemingly going to "infinity and beyond" with their word count, as Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story would say!).  Upon finishing their drafts, students were instructed to proofread, edit, and revise their essays.  Some chose to do this silently, others with peers, and several used the new program called WordQ on their netbooks to help with their proofreading.  WordQ is a writing and editing software program that "empowers students to independently write their own ideas, WordQ enables just about anyone to write, edit and proofread with ease. Designed for those who struggle with writing, it also suggests words and provides spoken feedback so students hear sentences repeated and can detect mistakes as they go."  With WordQ, students were able to listen to their narratives being read to them, enabling them to catch mistakes and edit their writing.  Using headphones, students listened to their narratives as they were writing using the "Speech" function, or after they wrote using the "Read" function.  See pictures below of student narrative writing and this WordQ program in action!

(Word Q is open in the top right of the Word document screen above)

Students also posted their narratives on ThinkQuest.org and read and responded to their classmates' narratives through interactive message boards (above).

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