COVID-19 · slice of life · writing

Just Another Day

I have no idea what day of the stay-at-home order we are on. (Day 50-something, perhaps?) I think we are nine weeks into our quarantine-schooling adventure, but I am not entirely sure of that either. What I do know is that Isabelle is nearing the end of her second writer’s notebook. That I am sure of!

Today’s writing was inspired by one of Amy LV’s Keeping a Notebook chats. Isabelle wrote about a play date she had with her friend Yael a couple of months after we moved into our house.

While Isabelle orally rehearsed her story, I noticed she was telling about what one person said to another rather than pretending to speak the words aloud. So, I taught into that. I pulled out a mentor text, Kaia and the Bees by Maribeth Boelts, and we looked at how dialogue was used and how it was punctuated.

Isabelle inserted a couple lines of dialogue. She declared she was finished with her entry, which is when I pushed her to write a couple more lines. “What else did Yael’s mom and I say to each other when she picked Yael up from our house?” Like many kids writing about something that happened in the past, Isabelle couldn’t remember the exact words we said. I told her to imagine what we may have said. That freed her up and she was able to include a couple more lines of dialogue.

Dialogue isn’t something one masters in single day. Isabelle worked really hard, but I could tell she will need more lessons on how to craft effective dialogue that advances a story or that to reveals a character’s personality or motivations. However, I was pleased by her efforts to punctuate it like Maribeth Boelts did in Kaia so I decided to take her out for a minivan lunch picnic. Why not? It’s not like we had anything else going on since it was just another day at home.

Isabelle ordered a rainbow grilled cheese sandwich and fruit.

10 thoughts on “Just Another Day

  1. I agree that dialogue writing isn’t the easiest thing to do. My sixth graders needed practice. Lucikl, there are so many books with wonderful dialogue that can be used as mentor texts.

  2. I love how you work with her on writing. I have actually used several of your posts to help me with my own reluctant writer. Oral rehearsal has been a *game changer* around here. I bet rainbow grilled cheese as a reward would also be motivational. We are nowhere near dialogue yet, but I’ll keep your mentor text recommendation in my back pocket, just in case.

    1. We are at it every weekday. Some days (like today) are better than others (like yesterday, for instance). I find she writes better when we do it around 9:00 am. It’s hard now since I have PT 3x/week at 8:00 am. By the time I come home and shower, it is 11 am. Today was NOT a PT day.

      Have you experimented with different times of day you write with him?

  3. Hooray for full notebooks!

    Amy LV has been such a blessing to me during this time. I haven’t been keeping a notebook but I love her videos and her poetry.

    And things for reminding me I want to try to make rainbow bread! Nobody sells it around here so I am going to give it a try on my own.

  4. I’m looking forward to birthday lunch dates with two friends from our car trunks. We usually go out for lunch to celebrate our three birthdays in early May, late May, and early June. This year we’re planning to order takeout and meet to chat with backs of our vehicles open. Hooray for Isabelle’s two notebooks! And for Amy’s videos!

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