Thursday, October 6, 2016

What do PIE, writing, and amusement parks have in common?

If you know anything about me you will know I abhor amusement park rides. I remember the giant, rickety roller coaster at Paragon Park. I was never going on that THING. Instead I chose to laugh my way around The Whip. I am still the person who would rather stand at the exit waiting for everyone else to disembark, seeing the dazed faces that went in so calm. When it came time to introducing the three types of writing to our students the best way I knew how was the one thing I am not a huge fan of- amusement parks.

We discussed the three purposes of writing: persuade, inform, and entertain (PIE). These types of writing are more formerly known as Argumentative, Expository, and Narrative.  I told the agents one of the things we all need to work on is expanding our stories using elaborative details. I gave them a story plot- protagonist goes to an amusement park, eats too much, and goes on a ride. We want to describe the ride. So we are pulling a piece of the story out to show our readers.

I Googled amusement park rides and found a great video from Quassy, which is near my sister in CT. We watched a portion of the video which helped me model for students how to craft a paragraph. I talked about first person point of view (using I) vs. third person point of view (he, she). I then started typing about a ride I will never go on. The students noticed I included figurative language such as similes and personification.

Bruno approached the towering Frantic ride, and his heart was beating like a drum. His stomach began to do somersaults. He could see the fire engine red paint and hear the screams of riders. As he waited patiently for his turn his mind began to race. The next thing he knew he was strapped into his seat and being lifted into the air. The world went upside down. The wind rustled his hair as loud gasps came out his lips. Upside down! Around! Left! Right! Dizziness blanketed him. Suddenly Bruno was circling in the air going faster and faster. He was blinded by the yellow pole and was thinking, how does a ride that looks like lego pieces make me feel so sick!

I then told the students to think about a ride and gave them the following directions. Several were disappointed they could not write the paragraph right away, but I explained to them writers need to plan.
  1. Choose your own ride
  2. Make four lists about your ride
    1. What does it look like
    2. What do you hear?
    3. What do you feel?
    4. Make a simile and personification for your ride
Using their imaginations and Google image search students began to envision their own ride to describe. We will take these rides through other forms of writing, persuading someone to go on the ride and comparing and contrasting our ride to another classmate’s ride.

We also delved into Madonna’s books today. A student happened to say she had no idea Madonna even wrote books. I have to say they teach really good lessons. Today we ready The English Roses, which teaches readers to not complain about their own lives and to put things in perspective. We also talked about how you never truly know what is going on in the lives of others so no reason to be green with envy over what others have. I highly suggest checking out her books. They are great family reads!

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