Label: Writing Wednesday

October 1, 2014

Seymour heard from many of you on Twitter (@SeymourSimon) yesterday about the adorable photograph of the Western Pygmy Possum that he posted on his blog. 

So today, for Writing Wednesday, let’s do some descriptive writing. Look at this photograph and think about everything that you see. Use all your senses. What does this little critter’s fur feel like? Can you feel its little heart beating when you hold it? How does it move? How does it look at you?

Of course, since you can’t actually see or touch a real Western Pygmy Possum, you will have to imagine all these things, and that’s ok! You also might want to do some additional research on your own, either in your library or on the Internet, and learn more about this animal. Or you could read yesterday’s blog post to learn more.

When you’ve studied the photograph thoroughly, and done whatever reseach you want to do, write a paragraph or two describing this animal with as much detail as you can. Help your reader imagine what it would be like to encounter a pigmy possum in a field.

If you would like to post your writing for other students to read, click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post, copy and paste in your work.

Happy writing!

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 24, 2014

 

We’re thinking about Seymour Simon’s SKYSCRAPERS for today’s Writing Wednesday!

Read the two pages from this book below, and as you read, think about the purpose of this text. What does Seymour Simon want to teach you? How does his choice of words and photographs help you to understand what he is writing about?

 

  

Once you are finished reading and thinking about what you have read, write a paragraph giving your opinion about this text, using information from what you read to support your thinking.

When you are done, click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post and paste in your writing for others to read.

And if you are interested in learning more about skyscrapers, you can read the entire book in the StarWalk Kids eBook collection. It’s read out loud, too!


Note for Educators: Seymour Simon’s book is part of the affordable, streaming, narrated eBook collection from StarWalk Kids Media. Click here if you would like to learn more about subscribing to this high quality, affordable collection of Common Core mentor texts.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Engineering   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 11, 2014

I posted yesterday about the excellent comments posted by two first grade classes about one of my Writing Wednesday exercises, called Pandas.

Last night, several of those students posted notes when they got home. Boy, did these make me smile! Here’s what Catie wrote:

I loved reading your books today in my class so much that I made my Mom read them with me when I got home from school. My sister wants to be awriter when she grows up. I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up yet. Thanks for writing such awesome books for us to read. I hope when I get older I can write stories just like you.

Love, 

Catie in Mrs. Akers/Ballisteri’s 1st grade class 

 

A second student wrote:

Hi my name is Jacklyn. I really really like your panda books. Book 2 gave more info.

Sincerely Jacklyn 

 

Thank you, Catie and Jacklyn, for your wonderful notes. You made my day!

Seymour 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 10, 2014

It’s Writing Wednesday, and we’ve had some really good comments posted by first grade classes at an elementary school in Bryant, Arkansas.

They have been reading a story about PANDAS that I posted last year. I asked readers to compare two different books about giant pandas—- an illustrated book by Susan Bonners, and a photo essay book by Caroline Arnold. Here is a link to click if you would like to read about pandas, and perhaps you will share your ideas, too.

Thank you for writing, Bryant students! Everyone can check out their ideas by clicking on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of the pandas blog post.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 3, 2014

It’s a new school year, and today is Wednesday…..so it’s time for a new WRITING WEDNESDAY!

 

Today, we’re going to look at a Seymour Simon book that is an old favorite.

It’s called PROFESSOR IQ EXPLORES THE SENSES.

As you read the pages below, about our sense of sight, think about all the different ways that Seymour Simon and illustrator Dennis Kendrick provide information to the reader.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Now that you’ve read these pages, think about the organization of this text. How does it support your learning? For example, are their captions, diagrams or illustrations that help your understanding? Does the design of the pages make a difference? How this book is different from other informational text you have read?

If you need to, go back and read again, and then write several sentences about which features of this particular informational text you think are most helpful to understanding more about your sense of sight.

When you have finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post to paste in your writing for others to see.

As Professor IQ would say, "Every day is a good day to explore!"


Note for Educators: Seymour Simon’s book is part of the affordable, streaming, narrated eBook collection from StarWalk Kids Media. Click here if you would like to learn more about subscribing to this high quality, affordable collection of Common Core mentor texts.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Human Body   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 8, 2014

What does it mean to "think like an eagle"? Author Kathryn Lasky’s book is a vivid portrayal of the life of a nature photographer and the many strategies (including patience!) that he uses to capture photos of wild animals’ lives.

To become a wildlife photographer, Jack Swedberg spent many years studying animal behavior so he could figure out how to be at the right place at the right time without disturbing the animals. For today’s Writing Wednesday project, read the section of the book below in which Swedberg is preparing to photograph a bald eagle.

After you have read it, think about the language author Kathryn Lasky uses to bring the scene to life, and write about the words that she chooses. How does a sentence like "The big talons extend and appear like splayed stars as the wings scoop the air in front of them" both accurately describe and help the reader to feel the power of the eagle as it comes in to feed? What other powerful language does she use and what is she describing?

Once you are finished writing, you can click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post to share you writing with others. Have fun thinking like an eagle! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Note for Educators: Kathryn Lasky’s book is part of the streaming digital collection from StarWalk Kids Media. Click here if you would like to learn more about subscribing to this high quality, affordable collection of Common Core mentor texts.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(51) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday, birds, Conservation, Photography   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 18, 2013

A baby seal who adopted a wildlife cameraman is the subject of today’s Writing Wednesday.

The Story:

  Cameraman Raymond Besant’s job on a nature documentary was to spend three weeks filming a colony of grey seals. He built a “blind”—a hiding place that looks like it belongs in nature, with a peek hole for the camera to shoot through—so that he could work without disturbing the animals. 

One morning he showed up for work and found the blind had been damaged. At first he thought it was because of a storm the night before, but when he looked inside, he found a sleeping seal pup (baby). 

"I gently shook the blind and eventually he shuffled out. He had wrecked the place and he was molting so there was fur everywhere. It smelled pretty bad, like a wet dog."

 

He tried building all kinds of barriers with driftwood across the entrance to stop the seal pup from getting in, but every morning he would come back to work and find a little head poking out of the blind.

 

Eventually, he decided to stop trying to block the seal, and started sharing the space. "He was just a clever seal that had found somewhere warm and dry to stay," said the cameraman.


Your Assignment:

Tell the story of the baby seal pup in your own words. Use details from what you read and from the photographs to make your story come alive for your readers.

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" button at the bottom of this post to share your work. Happy Writing!



 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(14) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday, Kids Write, Common Core   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 11, 2013

Writing Wednesday is all about Pandas this week!

Below, you will find excerpts from two different books, both titled Panda. In each of these excerpts, the author is writing about the first days of life for a newborn panda cub.

The first, by Susan Bonners, is an illustrated story. The second, by Caroline Arnold, uses photographs as illustrations.

But those aren’t the only differences between these two books. As you read these passages from the two different books, we want you to think about the differences in the styles of the two authors, and write a paragraph about how they are different.

Things you might think about as you are reading: Why would you choose one Panda book over the other? Would you use these books for different purposes (and what purposes)? Why do you think each author chose her style of presentation? What reaction were the authors trying to get from their readers?

When you have finished writing about the differences between these two pieces of writing, click on the "Comments" button at the bottom of this post to share your writing with others. 

 


Note for Educators: Both of these books are part of the streaming digital collection from StarWalk Kids Media. Click here if you would like to learn more about subscribing to this high quality, affordable collection of Common Core mentor texts.



Posted by: Liz Nealon

(26) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Writing Wednesday, Common Core   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 4, 2013

We would like to begin today’s Writing Wednesday by welcoming Mr. Gredder’s
5th Graders from Land O’ Pines Elementary School. We’re looking forward to hearing from you all!

Are you ready to write about FOG?

Science News Story:

 

Park rangers and tourists alike at the Grand Canyon were treated to a rare sight over Thanksgiving weekend. Everyone rushed to see as word spread that the massive canyon, the longest in the world, was full of fog.

Normally air gets colder with altitude. In other words, the temperature drops as you go up in the atmosphere. Occasionally, an "inversion" happens. An inversion means that the cold air stays close to the ground and the moisture condenses into droplets of fog. That is what happened at the Grand Canyon last weekend, filling the huge gorge with a mighty river of fog.

"Much better than Black Friday!" National Park Service Ranger Erin Whittaker posted on the Grand Canyon’s Facebook page. "Rangers wait for years to see it. Word spread like wildfire and most ran to the rim to photograph it. What a fantastic treat for all!"

Your assignment:

Explain this unusual weather event in your own words. Use details from both the photographs and the news story in your description of this Thanksgiving treat.

Happy Writing!

 

Photos: Erin Whittaker, National Park Service 


Note for Educators: Did you know that we have more than 50 Writing Wednesday topics archived on SeymourSimon.com? We strive to make these posts evergreen so that you can use them whenever the topic suits your lesson plan. Check out the Writing Wednesday Archive today!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Cool Photo, Weather, Common Core   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 29, 2013

Good morning and welcome to a special Halloween Writing Wednesday (which includes a ghostly Halloween treat at the end of this post)!

 

Today, we would like you to read a part of Seymour Simon’s book GHOSTS. As you read the page below, notice shades of meaning in the vocabulary. How does Seymour’s use of the adjectives "cold" and "damp" instead of just writing "castle" affect the mental image you create? As you read, look for other examples of vivid words that Seymour Simon uses, and tell us about how it enhances the selection. Write two or three sentences and tell us about which adjectives and word choices he makes to create a spooky feeling as he tells this story.

When you have finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" link below to post your writing for others to read.


 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

Calvados Castle is a gloomy-looking castle in France. It was built hundreds of years ago in the Middle Ages. Cold and damp, the castle hardly looks like a place in which anybody would want to live. If you saw it, you might think it was a perfect place for a ghost. And you would be right. Calvados Castle is haunted.

        The first record of ghostly happenings came in 1875. The family and the servants that lived in the castle were disturbed night after night by mysterious sounds. They decided to place threads across the open doors. They hoped that the threads would be broken so that they could learn where the intruders came in. The sounds continued, but the threads were never broken.

        The owner began keeping a diary of the strange events. The diary tells that on the night of October 13, 1875, a teacher employed by the family was alone in his room.


Halloween Treat! Seymour Simon had this book recorded by a narrator who has a famous "haunted" voice (he used to be a narrator for The Twilight Zone television series). Click below if you would like to hear this selection read aloud. But we warn you, if you are someone who is easily scared, you might not want to press play!

 

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, eBooks, Halloween   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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