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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Starting the Year off the Write Way! Day 7

It’s Day 7 and today I’m tackling Sentence Fluency. I decided to share a lesson using one of my new favorite books, Tammi Sauer’s adorable Cowboy Camp. This book is about Avery who just doesn’t quite fit at cowboy camp, but in the end saves the day. I love this story and I think Tammi is an author on the rise!
Cowboy Camp
After reading the book to the kids I would show them the following sentences (these are not from the book, but they are connected to the book) and ask if they see a pattern.  Hopefully they will notice that each sentence uses the order who, what, where, when. 
     1.  Avery saddled the cow by the barn at dawn.
     2.  The little cowboy tried to lasso the cow in the field yesterday.
     3.  The young buckaroo ate grits and beans by the campfire for dinner.
     4.  He dressed in his cowboy clothes in this cabin before breakfast.

I would tell them that, as authors, sometimes we get in a rut and use the same pattern in our sentences, but good sentence fluency means mixing up the order and not starting sentences in the same way. Then I would show them some different ways to rewrite the first sentence.  It could be changed to read:
     a.  At dawn Avery saddled the cow by the barn.
     b.  Down by the barn Avery saddled the cow at dawn.  
     c.  It was dawn when Avery went to the barn to saddle the cow.

Then would rewrite sentence #2 together.  For the You Do part the kids would pick either #3 or #4 to rewrite at least one way. Then I would ask them to look at their current writing and find at least one sentence they could reorder. For sharing time I would ask the kids to share the sentence they changed in their writing.

I would love to know what you do for sentence fluency (I’m in a bit of a rut myself!). Please share!

Happy Writing!


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