I teach 4th grade writing. Editing and revising are a BIG part of our class. I’ve noticed that my students do not always enjoy this part of writing, so I wanted to find a way to make it engaging and relevant for them. I decided to set up a weekly writing camp with the help of some of my fabulous coworkers. Here are the different stations the students went to for our 1st writing camp:
Dialogue: In this station the students watched a short clip from “Despicable Me” (yes it was the scene with the fart gun). We discussed what dialogue they heard in the movie and reviewed what we learned about using quotation marks with dialogue. Students then wrote a small paragraph describing the movie scene using dialogue throughout it.
Combining Sentences: Students rolled dice that had sentences on them. They had to take each sentence and combine them using a conjunction. We discussed why certain conjunctions did not make sense. One side of the die was a WILD and students were able to create their own sentence if it landed on this!
Topic Sentences: This was probably my favorite station!!! I went around and recorded several teachers talking about a topic of interest to them. I made sure they left off a topic sentence when I recorded them. Students were able to scan a QR code to view the video. They then found the envelope with the teacher’s name on it and pulled out a typed copy of what the teacher said. They had to discuss what the paragraph was about and write a topic sentence for it.
Complete vs Incomplete Sentences: Students read the sentence/fragment that popped up on the screen. If it was a complete sentence the students had to act it out. If it was an incomplete sentence the students did the mannequin challenge (They were all over that). Students had to then explain if the fragment was missing a subject or predicate and figure out a way to turn it into a complete sentence.
I would say the writing camp was a huge success! The kids had so much fun and asked if we could do it everyday. Another idea for the dialogue station could be to have the students Skype or use Google Hangout to talk with students from another class/school. They could then write a paragraph about their conversation using dialogue.
Let me know if you have any great ideas for me to add to my next Writing Camp!!!