Wednesday, October 19, 2016

National Writing Day ...ideas for celebration!

I'm blogging for School Library Connection these days, but here's a short idea piece to lend ideas for celebrating National Writing Day...tomorrow!

Today is National Dictionary Day.  Who would have thought that we would have a day that would make Daniel Webster leap? Tomorrow is Writing Day.  Now that’s one day for which I will LEAP!  I’m a believer that the “pen is mightier than the sward.”  That’s my tool for passivism. 

Words are powerful, strong, long lasting, and able to change people and the world.  Thomas Paine held his mighty pen and proceeded to plant seeds of change (insurrection)?  Why not have your students hold pens tomorrow and celebrate this minor holiday. 

Here are a few quick ideas for elementary librarian to embrace with their classes tomorrow:

Write 6 word stories!  On Twitter the #NCTE is having a contest for 6 word stories.  Check it out!  Wouldn't this be a fun activity for kids to do collaboratively, or individually?  Here's the entry that I tweeted:   Fido whhhiimmmperred and died.  Mom Criiiiiieedd.  

·      Pen a Poem - Via a limerick  (rhyming pattern AABBA) have your students talk about “changes” they’d like to see in the world.  Here’s an example (‘Not too great, but you’ll get the point!)

Jot thoughts:  lack of water, waste, farms needing, twenty year low; wild fires raging;
We’re at a 20 year low
And have not enough water to grow
Think twice before you waste
That way they’ll be more moisture in this place
Farms, fires, and people too—need our water to flow!

·      “Model diplomacy” by writing letter to your Congressman, local official, etc..  Students should both commend and complain.  A commendation will make a complaint fall on receptive ears.  Most letters can be easily mailed via email—not even requiring a stamp.  

Years ago we did this with our 8th graders, after they had watched the Superbowl and made notes of commercials that portrayed either females or males in good vs. garbage roles.  They wrote physical snail mail letters as well as emails to companies, and the responses were amazing.   Almost every letter was responded to and the students received freebies, coupons, and individual responses.  They were thrilled!

·      Storybird  - For those of you with the technology to support online writing, Storybird will give your students the tools to write and concentrate on the words, rather than the illustrations.  Illustrations are keyword searchable and you could teach the simple: Beginning, middle, end, rising action, falling action, etc., elements of a story.  Check it out at