Middle School Writing Tutorial


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A self paced tutorial of the writing process that encourages students to use the process to create a Middle School Memory Book.

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Middle School Writing Tutorial

  1. 1. Applying the Writing Process to Create a Middle School Memory Book Sarah Katko
  2. 2. How to Use this Tutorial To navigate through this tutorial, simply use your mouse to click at the buttons at the right hand side of the bottom of the screen to perform the following actions: To return to the beginning of the tutorial, click the home button To return to the previous page, click the back arrow To progress to the next page, click the next arrow
  3. 3. Introduction Middle school is a time when many new experiences are had by students. We grow physically and mentally, and learn many new skills in a range of subjects. One skill that is used in every subject is writing. This is a skill that does not require us asking “When am I really going to use this?”. We have learned that writing is a major way of communication, and although much of our writing these days comes through informal texting and email, it is important to understand and use the entire writing process. This tutorial will walk through the writing process as a guide to creating a middle school memory book. This is a book that will house written experiences and pictures that will help us remember our exciting middle school moments for the rest of our lives.
  4. 4. Making a Memory Book: Before We Get Started Before you can start, you need to think about available materials for the project. You will want to have sturdy material such as cardboard, or heavy duty construction paper for front/back cover and a way to bind the finished product together. Visuals will add significant meaning to your memory book. Gather photos you will want to include, and think about personal drawings you will need to create or locate. Additional ideas for visuals to add to your memory book could include: postcards or greeting cards, cash register receipts from items associated with memories, notes from friends, and anything else that comes to mind. This is your memory book, so make it special to you.
  5. 5. Making a Memory Book: Getting Started The purpose of creating this memory book is to not only serve as a reminder of the middle school years, but to take you through the entire writing process. A good memory book will include many photos/illustrations and interesting journal entries. Ideas for developing journal entries may include the following topics: first day of middle school a middle school dance worst cafeteria lunch favorite teacher best middle school vacation or field trip a bully experience middle school crush
  6. 6. The Writing Process Before we can actually begin, it is important to ensure a clear understanding of the writing process. The five steps include: Pre-writing (brainstorming/outlining) Drafting Revising Proofreading Publishing Please watch this short video for more in-depth explanation of each element: Writing Process Explanation
  7. 7. Making a Memory Book: Prewriting Stage Now that ideas for topics have been provided, it is time to think about the personal experiences that you will relate to each topic for a journal entry. Visualize the experiences as you are recalling them. Follow this link to view a short video to help with the pre-writing (brainstorming) stage: Getting started What brainstorming looks like: Steps to help brainstorm: 1. Write the topic at the top of a blank page. 2. List every idea about the topic that comes to mind, in whatever order the ideas occur to you, and no matter how silly an idea may seem. 3. Group similar ideas together. 4. Get rid of any idea that doesn’t fit into one of your groups. 5. Feel free to doodle pictures that may come to mind! First Day of Middle School Positive: Wore new pink Converse Saw friends missed from last year Got to show off summer tan Knew way around from big sis Got to sit by cute boy at lunch No more glasses – contacts! Negative: Sat by mean 8th grader on bus Forgot drink money at lunch Mean homeroom teacher It was so hot! Best friend moved Argued with mom that morning Spilled pudding on shirt at lunch
  8. 8. Making a Memory Book: Drafting There is no reason to waste time during the drafting process. If you are having a hard time with the introduction, skip to the body and go back later. This version of writing will be revised several times, so there is no need to worry about mistakes during the drafting stage. Use your brainstorming list to help organize ideas in the draft and roll with it, because it is just a draft! Take your topics, the brainstorm organizers for each topic, and jump in to drafting the journal entries! Check out this video for more information on the drafting process: How to Draft
  9. 9. Making a Memory Book: Revising The revision process can seem overwhelming at times. The purpose of revising is to make sure that the everything makes sense and is clearly conveyed. Ask yourself the following questions during this process: Does the writing seem to flow naturally (use transitions!)? Are my main ideas clear and supported with sufficient details? Is only relevant information included? Check out this video for tips on how to start the revision process with the big picture and work towards revising on a smaller scale: 3 Step Revision Process
  10. 10. Making a Memory Book: Proofreading The proofreading process is a very important step to take before releasing your final product. This is the last chance to check for errors and make sure your product is well written. While you need to proofread your own paper, it is always a good idea to have a peer evaluate your work with a fresh pair of eyes and a different perspective. In addition to making sure ideas are clear and all information is relevant, at this stage is is imperative to check the following components: grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. Use the provided checklist to get a peer to proofread your journal entries. Peer Editing Checklist Title of Work Writer’s Name Editor’s Name Check for:  Does the writing make sense?  Are transition words used?  Are all sentences related to the main idea of each paragraph?  Are words spelled correctly?  Is there a capitol letter at the beginning of each sentence? Are all proper nouns capitalized?  Are sentences punctuated properly?  Does the title clearly relate to the writing? 2 stars and a wish: write two things that were great about the writing and one you would like to see improved. ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ______________ ____________________________________________________________________ __ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________ _________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ __ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ __
  11. 11. Making a Memory Book: Publishing After all your hard work is complete, you are now ready to share your finished writing with other people! Your memory book may have some private information in it, so you may not want to share it with just anyone. However, you want your final product to reflect all of the time and effort you put into it. Before you are completely finished, ask yourself the following questions: Is the content of your memory book organized logically? Is the memory book visually appealing overall? Do illustrations (photographs/drawings/memorabilia ) appear neatly and purposefully throughout the memory book? Is handwriting/typing neat and errorless? Once you have completed each step of the writing process, you should feel confident about the work you have published.
  12. 12. Reflection Time Now that you have completed your memory book using the complete writing process, think about what you found to be useful and what you found to be a challenge. The writing process is something you will use during high school and in college, as well as in daily life. Following the writing process will ensure that you have quality work in the end, but it takes practice and knowledge of what works best for you as the individual writer. Continue to reflect on the process and use it for future projects, and you will certainly become a better writer along the way!