Oh my gosh–what a thrill to actually “see” someone review our book! You are the best! I’m so glad you found the book and that it’s helping you brainstorm ways to better convey emotion.
Would love to chat with you sometime to talk about what sort of worksheets or tools might be valuable to you as a teacher for implementing in the classroom, to help kids better learn how to show their characters expressions in creative writing. This is on our to-do list!
Angela, it would be amazing to brainstorm with you about teaching tools. I’m working to implement something of a writer’s workshop into my sixth grade ELA curriculum (hard to find the time since we’re doing Common Core and it’s pretty jam packed as it is). I have worked with my student about voice and expression, using interesting phrases, etc. We did some fun activities at the beginning of the year to help them get a feel for voice. Right now we’re still in the nascent stages of the writing process – I just want them to write more than a three paragraph story, you know?
Are you thinking of something along the lines of a teacher’s supplement to the Emotion and/or Traits Thesaurus?
Yes, that’s exactly what we are thinking. We’d likely have to create a few “levels” to cover different age ranges, but there is so many ways we could help teachers through printables I think. A good character creation one that goes beyond eye color and hair for starters–something that digs deeper. Plus too, sheets that encourage kids to think about a specific emotion & how the body expresses it. The ET lists out a lot, but getting the kids to actually brainstorm first and then going through the ET together will help cement body language ideas and get them thinking harder about what their bodies do when they experience an emotion, so they can translate that to their characters. That sort of thing.
Anyway, We are NECK DEEP in preparing for the WHW Amazing Race (a pay-it-forward event starting on the 21st at our website) But down the road, maybe could I contact you to bounce around some ideas?
I would be more than happy – I’d be ecstatic, really – to bounce ideas around. Right now I’m finding my way through sixth grade for the first time since my student teaching placement, but I previously taught second grade for five years and kindergarten for two. So I have a pretty good handle on the developmental levels. As I find or create materials for my students’ writers workshops, I’ll keep some notes about what seems to work well.
Have you ever looked at The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins? My graduate course on writing heavily relied on it. It’s been a while since I’ve read it. I think there are a few sections that pertain to helping students build voice, particularly through the revision/editing process and conferencing.