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Writer's Workshop Mini Lesson

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					            Writer’s Workshop Mini-Lesson

Essential Question: How does an author
engage the reader when writing?

Lesson 1:
An author can engage a reader by “hooking” the reader immediately. This should be
done at the beginning as the reader begins reading their narrative. This can be done
using various kinds of writing techniques. To engage a reader a writer must:

   Catch the reader’s attention
   Make the reader want to read more
   Make the reader like their piece and make them want to finish reading the
    piece

Different writing techniques or “hooks” can be used to do this. They are:

     Start with a question
     Start with a sound
     Start with a an interesting fact, thought, intense moment, or complaint
     Start with an exclamation, surprise or strong feelings
     Start with an interesting conversation

Using these different techniques to begin your personal narrative will make your writing
more interesting and engage your readers right from the start! One method that good
writer’s use to engage readers is to start their writing by using a conversation or
“dialogue” to gain a reader’s attention. The question then becomes….

How does a writer use dialogue to enhance their writing and to draw a reader
into a story?

Example:

     “We’re moving!” exclaimed Kellie as she bounded into the classroom.
     That’s what she told me as she entered homeroom. I couldn’t believe it! I
had just begun my first year with a fifth grade class when one of my kids was
already moving.
     “No!” I moaned. “Tell your parents that you can’t move.”
Most of us can’t resist listening to a good conversation. That’s why readers like
dialogue so much. It is even better if you use it to create conflict or a problem like the
example above.

How does a writer correctly write dialogue within a story?

To correctly use dialogue a writer must use quotation marks correctly. This is done
by:

    Use quotation marks to set off a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence.
    Use a comma before the quotation when the speaker’s name comes first.
    Use a comma, question mark, or an exclamation point to end the quotation
     when the speaker’s name comes last.

                               Rules to Remember
Rule 1: Use a quotation mark to set off a direct quote from the rest of the
sentence.

Example:

      Mama laughed. “Well Travis,” she said, “it looks like, we’ve got us a dog.”


Rule 2: Use a comma before the quotation when the speaker’s name comes first.

Example:

      Vince said, “Mrs. Stone, did you have a fun weekend?”


Rule 3: Use a comma, question mark, or an exclamation point to end the
quotation when a speaker’s name comes last.

Example:

      “Kaamal, please hold the door open for me.” said Mrs. Stanley.


               Other Very Important Rules to Remember!
Rule 4: Capitalize the beginning of your quote.
Rule 5: Indent when a character begins to talk. This must be done every time a
new character speaks.
            Writer’s Workshop Mini-Lesson

Essential Question: How does an author
engage the reader when writing?

Lesson 2:
Using these different techniques to begin your personal narrative will make your writing
more interesting and engage your readers right from the start! One method that good
writer’s use to engage readers is to start their writing by beginning with an
exclamation, surprise, or a strong feeling. The question then becomes….

How does a writer use an exclamation, surprise, or strong feelings to enhance
their writing and to draw a reader into a story?

Example:

      Every time I see or smell beets I have an unnatural desire to vomit. This is
not the created hysterics of a child but a real physical reaction that shocks most
who hear of it. I can truly say that I hate beets, wish they did not exist, and that I
wish I could eradicate them from the face of the earth. My feelings are extreme
but let me explain why I hate them as much as I do!

 The writer, Mrs. Stone, obviously has strong feelings about beets. She shocks the
reader by using strong feelings, exaggerates, and makes it fun! These strong feelings
do a good job of getting the reader’s attention and drawing them in.
            Writer’s Workshop Mini-Lesson

Essential Question: How does an author
engage the reader when writing?

Lesson 3:
  Using these different techniques to begin your personal narrative will make your
  writing more interesting and engage your readers right from the start! One method
  that good writer’s use to engage readers is to start with an interesting fact,
  thought, intense moment, or complaint to gain a reader’s attention. The question
  then becomes….

How does a writer use interesting facts, thoughts, intense moments, or
complaints to enhance their writing and to draw a reader into a story?

Examples:

    Screech, screech, screech! The first time I tried to play a recorder it
sounded like a lion running his claws down a chalk board.

      Boom! Bang! Crunch! The car slammed against the side of the guard rail as
my mother lost control of the car. Her hands clutched the steering wheel tightly
as she tried to regain control but it was not to be. The tires encountered gravel
on the shoulder of the road and the car spun in circles. My mother, knowing her
fight was lost, released the wheel and flung herself on top of my lap. All I could
hear was the crunch of metal and the sound of mom’s head as it hit the
windshield and she landed in my lap. It was at that second that I knew we were
in trouble, big trouble, I thought to myself.


Mrs. Stone, the writer, begins her piece with a very real, scary experience. This piece
of writing is intense and makes the reader want to find out what happens and why.
The reader has questions about why her mother let’s go of the steering wheel and why
she threw herself across her daughter’s lap. It gives us a hint of something interesting
to come.

				
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