menu   Home Literacy Ideas Math Ideas Art Family Fun Shop  

The "Un"Journal - Writing On Demand

The other day I was doing some online book shopping (one of my weaknesses), and just as I finished adding items to my cart, something caught my eye. You know that little menu that comes up on Amazon - "You may like ...", well, I saw and I liked. I impulsively added Unjournaling, by Dawn DiPrince and Cheryl Miller Thurston, and I'm so very glad I did.
I know many of you are just about done the school year (and may I say now how very jealous I am!). Well, I'm not just about done. We go until the very end of June - June 30th to be exact. In these next few weeks I have province wide grade 6 testing, track meets (I'm the track coach), team meetings, class trips, Arts Fair ... you name it. With the weather only getting warmer each day, it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep my kids focussed and motivated. The kids (and I) needed something new.

Enter Unjournaling. This book takes the age-old writing on demand tasks, and actually makes them fun! We did our first prompt on Monday - Write a paragraph about a girl named Dot, without using any letters with dots. It took my students a few minutes to wrap their heads around this, but when the timer went off after 15 minutes, I had quite a few giggles and volunteers to share their work.
On Tuesday, the students didn't know what to expect when I had them take out their writing notebooks. Tuesday's prompt was - You have been hired by a car company to subliminally encourage people to buy a car. You will receive $10.00 for every word that has the smaller word of car in it (example: scar, carton, etc.). Write a short story for a magazine using as many "car" words you can. When the timer went off, I heard an excited voice from the back of the class shout, "I made three hundred sixty dollars!".
As I entered my classroom on Wednesday morning, the students were already asking me what their writing prompt would be that day - and their language block wasn't for two more hours! That's when I knew I had stumbled upon something great. Wednesday's writing prompt was - Write a paragraph about anything you wish, using 20 double-vowel words (example: peep, school, etc.). I also had them include 5 words from our new word wall. When the timer went off, over three quarters of my class had their hands waving in the air, eager to share their writing. SUCCESS!!!








On Thursday and Friday, their task was to choose one piece of writing, polish it, publish it, and submit it for marking. I displayed the published pieces on a bulletin board to keep the excitement going. I know we're going to have a lot of fun with this book for the rest of the year. See ... sometimes impulsive online shopping can totally pay off!


13 comments:

  1. The blog button looks great. You did a fantastic job! I can't see your stick figure family though. I just see an empty box.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Jill. I'm actually quite proud of myself. I don't know what happened to my stick family - I can see it - I'll have to check on Jay's computer later.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I must have this book! What grade are you teaching? Would it work with advanced 3rd graders?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a kid teacher, as a class job and I know that my friends love when I use this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fantastic! LOVE your class job - how fun!

      Delete
  5. I ordered this book! Thank you so much. It is just what the doctor ordered after SO much testing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcy - it will be PERFECT for after testing! My students can't wait to share what they've written. As soon we finish, the hands shoot up to volunteer!

      Delete
  6. I bought this book too! It's great, it's unique and it makes them think. They really get into the activities and they actually work a their writing. I plan on using this a lot more after Gr.6 testing is over - right now it feels like we are all about EQAO. I also bought Hot Fudge Monday - kids are really enjoying that one too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it fun?! Can't wait for testing to be over ... so tired of the practice booklets ... and so are the kids. It'll be so great to reward them with some fun activities after EQAO.

      Delete
  7. I was going to buy this book and put it off... now I wish I had. It looks like it will be easy to adapt into the computer curriculum for next year!

    Thanks for the info about this book! :)

    Lauren
    Life in Middle School
    http://middleschoolforlife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great find! Thanks for the recommendation! I just bought the book too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, by chance do you still have your Text Feature Poster? I can't find it on your site anywhere or on TPT! Is it still available?

    Rebeccav77@hotmail.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the concept! Anything to get them jazzed about writing. Speaking of...Iknow you started off this year talking about Daily 5 but haven't heard it mentioned in a while. Just wondering. I just finished the Daily 5 grad class through UIU and it's really helped me get D5 and CAFE going in my class.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...