Week 2: Using Revealing Details

Summary

  • Revealing details (formerly called “telling details” in the curriculum) are specific details that uncover something more than they say at face value. They reveal something about the character, place, or idea they’re describing. It’s not about an abundance of details. It’s about being choosy with your details to imply something more than meets the eye.You should be sure that your kids grasp this distinction before moving forward.
  • Unsure where to start? Appeal to the five senses.
  • Avoid clichés, which are ideas that have been used so often they’ve lost their meaning.
  • For reference, check out Cure for IDK, pg. 42, 32, 38, 161.

Today’s goal

  • Use revealing details to describe a [choose one to focus your lesson:] person or place.

Target exercise ideas

  • The T-chart is a simple tool for explaining the difference between boring and vivid language. Watch this video about using a T-chart to explain the concept to your kids (brought to you by Deep’s founder, Catherine Killingsworth!)
  • Sentence Shifter: Divide kids into small groups and give each of them the same boring sentence like “He kissed her.” then challenge them to re-work the sentence with individual vivid words you’ve prepared on index cards. It’s amazing how different the sentences can be! See how it works and get a sample list of words from Cure for IDK pg. 42.
  • Tell your kids the story of dead words (Cure for IDK pg. 32.) Together, make a list of dead words at the board [NOTE: Kids love to get up and write on the white board together. Get everyone out of their seat and contributing to the board as a group, building off one another. This is called a “chalk talk.”] Once your list is complete, pick one of the dead words and unpack it as a group. “Love” is a good example. Is loving chocolate and loving your mom the same thing? Is the feeling the same? Why? How can you say what you really mean?

 

Reading ideas

Something with vivid, specific description that, when viewed as a whole, gives us a fuller picture of the subject beyond simply face value.

Writing prompt ideas

  • A: Write your own “raised by” piece! Borrow the structure from Kelly Norman Ellis. Make a list of qualities to help you get started: food, verbs, dialogue, physical appearance, attitude, relationship, hobbies, education, etc.) OK to make different stanzas for different people/things.
  • B: Write a poem about where you’re from. Use the five senses to paint the scene. [Who else is there? What do you see? Smell? How does it make you feel? Does where you’re from have to be a geographic place? Can it be something more? ]
  • C: Write about your walk/ride to school in the morning. What pieces of yourself do you leave at home? Why? Who do you become when you arrive at school? / Write about a time you felt pressured to deny who you really are, a time you tried to “dust away the stains of ancestry” like José?

 

Sharing/performance ideas

  • Try an Author’s Circle. Everyone sits/kneels on a circle on the floor. This activity is silent except for approved ways of showing appreciation, so be sure to norm how listeners will show their appreciation (snaps, claps at the end, nods, etc. It’s OK to get silly as long as your group can all agree on it!) Choose one writer who’s demonstrated a lot of promise today to share. All eyes are on the reader, giving them full attention. As the sharer reads, the rest of the group hears them. When finished, the reader may take a bow, if they wish, and listeners should nonverbally share their appreciation. As facilitator, be sure to acknowledge both the reader and listeners for keeping the space safe and honest.
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Week 10: Publishing Submission: Final Revision and Author Bios (Part 3 of 3)

PUBLISHING SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE THIS WEEK!

Summary

  • This week is for last-minute edits, checking our titles, and finishing author bios.
  • Remember, Deep writing is original, vivid, and fearless
  • Strategy: Hold mini-conferences with those who need it most. Set up an “office” and talk with writers one-on-one. Need a third writing fellow to get your group across the finish line? Contact Deep staff!
  • Publishing submissions are due this week after your workshop! Submit here.
  • Review the formatting and style guidelines. Items to note especially:
    • 1. Write a brief introduction for your workshop with your co-Fellow. Include your personal by-line. (Sample by-lines can be found in the style guide.)
    • 2. Only one Writing Fellow should submit for your workshop. Decide which of you will collect and upload the final submission to this site. This streamlines the publishing process.
    • 3. Submit one Word document for each author.Kids have missed out on publication in the past because their Fellows failed to double-check this!In this case, do not assume that your co-Fellow has it covered.
    • 4. Spell author names correctly. Kids have been published under the wrong names because their Fellows failed to double-check spelling against the students’ own folders.
    • 5. Format your Word documents to Deep standards.This saves countless hours of correction time for the publishing staff. Check against the formatting guide found on the blog.

Today’s goal(s)

  • Final revision: using vivid words and creative titles.
    • Replace boring, overused words with adjectives that are vibrant and alive.
    • Replace clichés with figurative language that’s new, never been heard before.
    • Write titles for your pieces that make your reader curious and grab their attention, don’t give it all away from the get-go.
  • Write your author bio.

Reading ideas

Writing prompt ideas

  • Individual last-chance revision feedback and notes for each Deep author.
  • A: Brainstorm three surprising titles for each of your to-be-published pieces. What’s the piece really about? How can you hint at it with the title? Is there a line or phrase that is powerful enough to become the title?
  • B: Write your own author bio. This is your chance to speak directly to your audience as yourself. What do you want your readers to know about you? Stay away from bland stuff, and give your readers some personality! Give a strange fact about yourself that most readers wouldn’t know. Why do you write? What do you hope people gain from your work? It’s okay to get silly or be serious—your pick.

Sharing/performance ideas

  • You’ve Got Me Feeling Emotions: Encourage young authors to channel the intention and emotions behind a piece by reading it in the most exaggerated emotion possible. If they are angry, ask them to shout; if they are sad, ask them to read it as if they were crying. Model so youth really step up to the plate.