Reading AND Writing

Boy Holding His Breath with Face Turning Blue --- Image by © Phil Banko/CORBIS

Boy Holding His Breath with Face Turning Blue — Image by © Phil Banko/CORBIS

The past two days I have seen this beautiful quote mentioned over and over:

“Reading is the inhale and writing is the exhale,” Donalyn Miller.

Next year I would like squeeze in some genre teaching in writing that correlates to my instruction in reading.  Fairy tales is a genre studied in 3rd grade at my school.  Here are a few things I want to remember about this genre when teaching students to write Fairy Tales (found on Fran’s Blog about her learning at TCRWP):

Possible statements for a checklist for Fairy Tale writing:

  • I tried to bring my character to life by using names, details, talking, actions, and inner thinking.
  • I used show not tell to add details.
  • I gave my character a quest or adventure.
  • I gave my character a problem to solve or overcome.
  • I used elements of magic in my story.
  • I chose strong words that would help the reader picture my story.
  • I have elements of three in my story.

Students should write a 5-6 page story with 10-12 lines of print on each page.

Although I taught these elements in reading and ask students to locate and identify them in their stories – I know students would form a stronger connection if they were given and opportunity to write in the genre as well.  When we bring reading AND writing together the power of our teaching grows.  As a reading specialist assigned to teach reading groups in various classrooms it is often a challenge to squeeze in writing but I need to remember the quote above and allow my students to breathe out too.

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