I am sharing my love of the written word as a part of the Superb Writers' Blogathon. In partnership with Grammarly grammar checker, this series is bringing accessible advice to aspiring superb writers all across the world wide web.
In honor of the fathers who raised 25 sweet first grade writers, we took some time recently to put the writing process to work in order to capture some of our favorite father thoughts forever.
First, I read this book a few times, which became our inspiration for this project. The plan was to write about the five best things about our own dads, not that we would have any troubles coming up with ten.
Secondly, we started working our way through the process of writing our own thoughts. Here's a picture of a writing process poster that I keep handy in my room for moments like these. (Yep, that's Pete the Cat hanging out with us.)
This is a picture of one writer's plan. This came after I modeled and thought through my own, of course.
The next step was to take those plans and create a rough draft or sloppy copy as we sometimes call it. I demonstrated and then gave them the opportunity to give it a whirl. You'll see an example below.
The next part of the process is revision. Notice that in these examples the writers write on every other line. I've taught them to do this on purpose, so that when it's time to revise, there's space to do just that. In this picture, you can see some simple revisions. Unless I'm totally off base, first grade revisions are typically simple. The idea though is that revision isn't a bad word. It's what real writers do, because they love their writing too much not to fix it up.
By the way, you're looking at something that happened over several days. Even though this is a short piece, it takes time to adequately model each step and then give them enough time to try it out on their own. This next picture simply shows some of the editing that occurred. The writers used the resources available to them in order to correct what they could. I always tell them that I'm their final editor. I'm glad to help, but I don't edit for free. They're in charge of fixing what they can first.
Finally, we fancied up the pieces and got them ready for the world (specifically Fathers) by publishing. I typed up all their thoughts. They did all the drawing and coloring. Here's what the final product looked like. It's kind of magical.
I borrowed the art project idea from Mrs. T's First Grade Class and just modified it to fit this piece of writing. I hope you visit her blog to see what hers look like. (They actually look better than mine. After the fact, I realized her drawings were traced with black marker. Brilliant!) When all is said and done, our hope is that 25 fathers feel loved enough to keep their first grader's written word around for many years to come.