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Slide Notes

Writer's Notebooks are an essential tool for writers. When you divide your Writer's Notebooks into sections, be sure to make a tab for Free Writes. Here's the how and why of free writes!

Students in all grade levels can have writers notebooks. Anyone hoping to write more can use a writer's notebook as a place to gather ideas.

Free Write - Writer's Notebooks

This Deck shares how to get started with writer's notebooks and free writing. I've used this with students at the beginning of the school year but it's also great for anyone who wants to write and get their creative juices flowing!

Writer's Notebooks gives student writers the opportunity to gather story ideas any time and anywhere. Free writing is a way to release all those ideas. This deck shares how free writing is about focusing on the content and letting ideas flow.

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

Writer's Notebooks

Living the Life of a Writer
Writer's Notebooks are an essential tool for writers. When you divide your Writer's Notebooks into sections, be sure to make a tab for Free Writes. Here's the how and why of free writes!

Students in all grade levels can have writers notebooks. Anyone hoping to write more can use a writer's notebook as a place to gather ideas.

Free Writes

Living the Life of a Writer
Free Writes are a great way to get ideas out of your brain and onto paper. From there you can take your writing through the writing process.

What does it mean
to be a writer?

I love to ask student writers this question, "What does it mean to be a writer?" Most students think writers need good ideas. Which is partly true...but even the best writer has some not-so-great ideas. There' s power in having lots of ideas so you can pick and choose the best.

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Writers face the blank page all the time. But free writing helps us not be afraid to face a blank page.

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Essentially, writers have the job of making something out of nothing. But it doesn't have to be a daunting experience to fill a blank page.

Do Ideas Fall From The Sky?

How do you know what to write about?
Where do ideas come from? Do ideas just fall from the sky? How do writers know what to write about? The secret is living life with a writer's eye. When you live the life of a writer, you pay attention to the world around you in a different way. Start to look around you and notice the world in a different way.

BIG HERO 6 CLIP [HIRO'S IDEA]

Big Hero 6 Clip [Hiro's Idea]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fva1Qa-WS_A

Show the Big Hero 6 clip where the main character Hiro is excited and motivated and ready to do what he can to be accepted into his brother's school...but all that enthusiasm doesn't get him very far. His brother doesn't give up on him, he encourages him to shake things up a bit and look at things in a different way. When you live the life of a writer, you pay attention and see everyday things in a different way.

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Here are some examples of story ideas I spotted in my everyday adventures. This is a picture of a wall of chocolate. How cool is a wall fo chocolate? They have chocolate bars with bacon and even chocolate bars with chili peppers! What would you do with a wall of chocolate?

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Guess what might be happening here! This is my three-year-old after a long day of waiting in line and having lots of fun at the Mall of America. Sometimes we spot people or things and can start to imagine what might have come before the moment we are witnessing or what might come next. Writers are free to imagine.

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While out for a run one morning, i spotted these tennis shoes and just had to take a picture. As soon as I saw these discarded shoes, my imagination went into overdrive. Why didn't the person needs his or her shoes any more? Where was the person now? Was he or she now barefoot? What is the story of these shoes?

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The amazing part about being a writer is that, like Natalie Goldberg says, "I am free to write the worst junk in the world." We can imagine and daydream as much as we want and we're welcome to write whatever comes to mind.

Free Writing Rules!

  • keep your hand moving
  • focus on ideas
  • let your ideas flow
  • be brave
Free writing helps us get our words on the page. Here are the rules to free writing: keep your hand moving, focus on ideas, let your ideas flow, and be brave. I remind writers that spelling and punctuation doesn't matter. I also explain that it's okay to write banana or any random word over and over if you get stuck. There is not crossing out and no overthinking. Just write!

Free Write Time!

My Turn
For some writers, free writing is a totally new and different kind of beast so I model first. I make sure my mind wanders and I write everything that pops into my head. I usually free write for 1 minute to start and then increase the time as stamina builds.

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When I'm ready to free write, I say to myself, "Bring it on, blank page!" I model this for writers and invite them to say it along with me.

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After I model a free write, I come back to this. "I can write. I am a writer. The proof is on the page." There are so many emotions that come with writing but the most important thing to remember is that we've added words to the paper. Wonderful words that can be revised. And that's something to celebrate.

Free Write Time!

Your Turn
Student writers are usually ready to free write by this point. And now it's time!

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Now it's their turn to get excited and tell themselves: "Bring it on, blank page!"

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After we free write all together, we make sure to come back and pat ourselves on the back and say, "I can write. I am a writer. The proof is on the page."

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The power of free writing comes when we practice it every single day. When we build the habit, we become used to sitting down at a blank page and making something out of nothing. And the more we write and life the life of a writer, always on the lookout for ideas to write about, the more we work towards a "constant state of composition". And this is a powerful step towards living the life of a writer.