Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another update from the Harrisons. Enjoy!

Am I weird? You can tell me if you think I am.  You see, one of my New Year's resolutions was to

spend few hours every weekend creating a new writing option for my students to "borrow" from me when they're looking for a creative way to approach the sacred writing time I'm requiring them to put in to their writer's notebooks.   I tell my young writers, "If you're just going to write block paragraphs day after day, then your notebook won't be nearly as much fun to flip back through and borrow from it those good ideas that can be further developedinto great ones."
Here's this weekend's brand new writer's notebook page from my own writer's notebook, which uses a unique take on an old idea--the acrostic "poem":
I avoid assigning very many acrostics because I think it's a format for writing that comes with the risk that students might take the easy way out and create a mostly thought-free acrostic poem for you.  It's real easy to write a lame acrostic poem, am I right? Since I'm still working on my VERB REVIEW lesson, and I'm always seeking new ways to make my students think about their VOCABULARY with both creative and logical thoughts, I decided to create a challenging new acrostic poem format to teach my kids based on interesting vocabulary verbs they might discover.  Use the link above or by clicking here to access my teacher model from my own notebook, which was published just this very afternoon for the first time!
Who or what SMITES?  Who or what SIZZLES? Who or what SALVAGES?  Those questions fueled my three acrostics! Now that my teacher model is completed, I've decided my students this spring will be creating a page similar to mine that has them further explore three alliterative verbs from their own weekly vocabulary collections they've been working on since we returned to school back in August.  If they like their poem drafts, I will invite them to "publish" them by neatly re-writing them inside their notebooks and adding decor and color; quite a few will do this if I tempt them with a few extra credit notebook points. And, as a result, they will have a sharp-looking page that stands out, and its presence might just inspire them to independently choose to write a thoughtful acrostic poem when they decide it's time to do some "Sacred Writing" for me that they don't want to take the form of a block paragraph.
Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your three-day weekend (if you happen to have one this weekend) and I hope you're keeping true to your own New Year resolutions.  Click here to learn more about my vocabulary lessons.  Click here to learn more about my students' writer's notebooks.  Click here to learn more about "Sacred Writing Time."
Enjoy your time with family and friends!  Do something creative and bold...I dare you!
--Corbett Harrison (
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