Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day #135 Writers Boot Camp

What fun! I spent time yesterday speaking the fifth-grade students at Woodward Mill Elementary School as part of their Writer’s Boot Camp program. The topic was “Draw Your Reader into Your Story: Pick the Right Verb.”

We talked about how changing the verbs can change the whole intent of the story. For instance, we started one story this way:
o   Mom pulled to a stop beside the road.
Then we wrote the same story, changing nothing but the verbs, and it started like this:
o   Mom screeched to a stop beside the road.
Two different verbs. Two different scenarios. See?

At the board, I wrote, “The lion __________ across the grassland.”
We quickly discarded tired words like ran or walked. Instead, they supplied fifteen or twenty vivid verbs, including:
Ø  limped
Ø  staggered
Ø  stalked
Ø  bounded
Ø  crept
Ø  roared

In “I _________ the picture from my grandfather,” they suggested verbs such as:
v  adored
v  burned
v  destroyed
v  inherited
v  detested
v  evaluated

Eventually I’d like to get an observation hive so I can haul it to the school and introduce them to the joys of raising bees—just as much fun and just as important as the joys of writing effectively.

BEEattitude for Day # 135:
       Blessed are the teachers, for they shall be illuminated by the light of knowledge.

Something Fran is grateful for right now:
       The students who jumped in joyfully with answers    

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