Thursday, 9 June 2011

Writing in Riddles!

This week's creative writing project came up after Eve read a non-fiction book entitled 'What am I?'...... it gave descriptive clues and then you saw that it was a black cat. Building on another of the ideas that my mum had given me, I planned out this activity. I was more careful this time not to pile too much pressure on as I had with the pumpkin writing two weeks ago.

I made four simple strip books by cutting an A4 piece of paper into six strips and stapling one end, then writing the riddle a page at a time. I made two examples that followed the same format and that used some of the sight words we have been focusing on! They went like this:

What am I? How can you tell?
I am....... as tall as the trees!
I have...... a very long neck!
I can....... see a very long way!
I like to eat...... leaves.
I am a......... (Giraffe)

What am I? How can you tell?
I am...... pink and elegant.
I have........ wings with black tips!
I can...... snooze on 1 leg!
I like to eat....... yummy shrimps!
I am a ........... (Flamingo)

Eve read one and I read the other and she loved them, guessing straight away of course. I deliberately included words that she can't yet decode, such as 'like' and 'snooze' and 'eat' as preparation for next week's planned assault on vowel digraphs!!!

I had prepped two strip books for Eve, by writing out the format and the dots then adding lines for her to add her descriptions. She jumped straight in, these are her riddles:

What am I? How can you tell?
I am....... black.
I have........ wings.
I can..... sleep upside down!
I like to eat........ bananas.
I am a....... (Bat)

What am I? How can you tell?
I am....... gray.
I have........ big ears.
I can....... stomp.
I like to eat...... nuts.
What am I?

I had decided before hand that after the pumpkin writing, I was not going to correct Eve's spelling. As it happened however, she chose some words that required support such as 'upside' and 'down' and 'bananas'. She was so much more relaxed this time though that she welcomed talking through the process of how to spell them, and quickly identified how many syllables each word had and seemed to know 'segment' them into 'spellable' components. When she made an error in which letter came next I reflected back her choice as part of the whole word and she was giggling and trying again..... such a pleasure to see her having fun doing it. She is usually sooooo hard on herself and gets really frustrated by mistakes.

I was also able to prompt her regularly to use a tripod grip and I was thrilled with how beautifully formed some of her words were. I had not even considered that Eve would have leaped forwards so much without having been asked to do any creative writing since our first attempt. It is really exciting and has motivated me to plan more fun ways to get Eve writing!

1 comment:

  1. I have been a regular to your blog for a few months now, and find the work that you do very inspiring. When I came to your site I was home schooling my son (5), who is now at a school. However I still top up the work that they do in a fun way, and this one just lead me to write the wonderful work you do. I normally play it as a game with him of what am I fruit & veg, where am I for countries & cities, and which car am I. To incorporate it in the next step, of reading & writing, is genius. Thank you once again for the wonderful job you do.