Personal Writing: A Gratitude Mandala

14 Jul

Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me posts an open ended writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home. Welcome to Term 3′s Monday’s Muse! Can you believe we are half way through the year?

This term at The Writer’s Club, we’re exploring personal writing. (You can read the full program here) So in the spirit of using writing to connect our head and hearts, I wanted to share The Gratitude Mandala with you.

Mandala_033_Gratitude_12x12_o

I found this Gratitude Mandala here. I love the idea of using writing to shift our perspective and change our mindset. I also think it’s a wonderful writing activity to start the term. It’s the kind of writing activity that could be started today and added to, during the term. I’d better go, I’m off to start my own Gratitude Mandala!

Happy Writing!

After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means it’s possible to tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out the range of storytelling and writing workshops today! Workshops for secondary classes and Professional Development programs are also popular.

 

 

Tagged , |

Zooming In and Zooming Out.

22 Jun

Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me posts an open ended writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.

“There are some things that are real, that you can see, that you can observe, like the moon, and grass and things. But for ideas to become real, they have to be played on your senses. They have to come through you. And that act brings them into the world.”

Jane Campion

I love that quote. It highlights the importance of thinking and dreaming and imagining, before we start writing. This activity takes writers on a sensory journey and encourages them to fire up their senses to recreate a setting and/or object. Continue reading →

Tagged |

Choose Your Verbs Wisely!

16 Jun

Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me posts an open ended writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.

As well as having a free writing activity activity to start our weekly workshop at The Writer’s Club, I’ve been trying to incorporate language games that highlight the skill we are currently reviewing. This game, focusing on word choice (verbs) reminds writers to choose the verb that best matches the action they are describing. Not all verbs are created equal! Writers need to give their readers the best possible chance to ‘catch’ the image or word picture they are creating. This game also allows the opportunity to review parts of speech and the role of the verb in a sentence. Continue reading →

Tagged |

Meet Dee White : Masterclass for Teens

11 Jun

 

 

Every Tuesday, a post from Dee’s Blog can be found amongst my emails. Her blog follows her writing journey and provides an insight into the real nuts and bolts of writing. ( Dee is a talented artist too!) I look forward to her post every week. So her YA book – ‘Letters To Leonardo’ has been on my reading list for a while now. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a powerful read, putting family relationships, frienship and mental illness under the spotlight and allowing the reader to fully explore the fine cracks and solid bonds that appear when free choice and fate collide. The main narrative of Matt and his family is cleverly juxtaposed with Matt’s school history project – his letters to Leonardo Da Vinci. The letters, not only give us a chance to get inisde Matt’s head, but we’re also exposed to the very human side of this great painter; his trials, struggles and his relationships.

Teens (Years 7, 8 and 9) will have the opportunity to focus on  character development and plotting skills as they discover the process Dee used to create ‘Letters to Leonardo’ Dee’s workshop is part of The Writer’s Masterclass on July 3rd. In her workshop – ‘From Portrait to Prose’, aspiring writers will learn how to develop a character from an image, and use this, as a springboard for creating a compelling story. It’s a not to be missed opportunity to learn from one of Melbourne’s talented YA authors.

You can check out Dee’s website for young writer’s here!

Unknown-3

 

Today Dee Visits the blog to answer

our 10 Quick Questions

Where is your favourite place to write?

The great outdoors

Who is your favourite author?

Sorry I can’t pick one. I read different things for different moods.

What is one of your favourite childhood memories?

Going on a family picnic to Inverloch to watch Hailey’s comet.

Name one essential item you keep on your desk.

My computer.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

My family

What was the best birthday present you ever received?

My brother’s birthday is the day before mine so we say that we are each other’s best and worst birthday presents.

Characters in stories sometimes have special talents or powers. If you could choose an amazing talent or power for yourself, what would it be?

Telepathy

How do you collect and organise your story ideas?

In a very chaotic way that can’t really be described as organised. If I think of a new idea I write about it before I forget it.

What is the best thing about becoming a writer?

Can I pick two?

1. Writing books that change lives.

2. Spending all day dong what I love doing.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer?

Waiting to hear whether my book is going to be published and dealing with rejection when a publisher decides that they don’t want to publish my book.

 

Thanks for dropping by Dee. We look forward to welcoming you to The Writer’s Masterclass!

Dee White is the author of 16 fiction and non-fiction books for children and young adults. She’s a qualified writing teacher and mentor, with a passion for encouraging new writers through her teaching and popular blogs. She has recently returned from a residency in the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , |

Famous First Liners

09 Jun

enhanced-buzz-26229-1374074599-20

Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me posts an open ended writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.

This term at The Writer’s Club, we have focused on the technique of creating strong story hooks. I found this resource online and wanted to share it with you all. It’s the best opening lines from 16  children’s books. (I printed this off and laminted the book covers with the opening line overleaf.)

First off, I simply read the first lines and we tried to guess the books. Titles of books were scribbled down as club members added to their list of books to read for this year. Some children’s books like E.B White’s, Charlotte’s Web are classics and this is a great way to encourage children, if they haven’t read them already, to give them a try.

Then, it seemed a natural progression  to start categorising these single sentence story starters. Is the author introducing the character or the plot? Does this opening sentence describe the setting or foreshadow what it to come? Does it create a particular tone or atmosphere? Perhaps it does all of the above…

Shining the spotlight on ourselves as readers is important too. What makes this opening sentence so good? Why does it appeal to me, as a reader? Am I hooked in by humour? By interesting charcaters? By the suggestion of a mysterious plot?

After we had devoured the list, discussed our favourite books, sorted the sentences, analysed our reading preferences and simply marvelled at the tremendous power of words, we each took up the challenge of writing one sentence. One single sentence. That’s all. We workshopped our ideas. I couldn’t help thinking afterwards that collecting those sentences would have made a great collection of writing prompts for future warm up activities. We have completed the single sentence challenge a couple of timessince then and we’re really getting the hang of it. Practice really does make perfect.

However, collecting opening lines has becomes a little addicitve I’m now looking for them everywhere. In newspaper articles. In novels. In picture books.

So go on. Take the opening sentence challenge with your students. Section off a wall somewhere so you can start your very own collection. Not only will a display like this showcase an important writing technique, but there can be no better way to encourage young writers to get excited about books and reading.

And all it is is one simple sentence.

Happy writing!

After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means it’s possible to tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out the range of storytelling and writing workshops today! Workshops for secondary classes and Professional Development programs are also popular