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Help w/ 8th grader's writing

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My dd is entering 8th grade this year.  Based off of WTMA's placement test, I had her answer a question.  It was pretend you are 2 inches, trying to get attention of mom, and you are hungry.  So, she had to write for 20 minutes or so.  Attached is what she came up with.  How do I help her?  Her sentences are short/choppy.  I think she needs better vocabulary?  What program do you think she should try to help with her writing?  She did WWS1 last year.  I am not great with attachments, so hopefully you can figure out the order.  


Thanks for any input!  She reads a ton, loves to write, but I feel like much improvement is needed.  I just don't know how to help.


I hope these attachments work!  I don't know how else to do it.  I took a picture of writing, sent it to my text, put on my computer desktop, and dragged here.  


 file:///Users/Lydia/Desktop/IMG_9865.JPG     file:///Users/Lydia/Desktop/IMG_9864.JPG



Edited by LAmom

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I am just going to type it out....



      One morning, not too long ago, I wok up as usual.  Then, after a few second, I realized something was wrong!  I had shrunk!  I was now approximately 2 in. tall...and also very hungry.  I walked over to the ladder of my bunk-bed and crawled down the ladder.  I ran out the door of my room and jumped off the stairs, one by one, till I was downstairs.  Now to get breakfast.  I sprinted to the kitchen, narrowly avoiding getting crushed by various family members, also including the pets.  I heard them talking about me, so I paused.   "Where is that pokey girl?" my mom said, annoyed.  "It's 8:30! She should have been down her 1/2 an hour ago!"  "Owen said that she wasn't in her room."  That was my dad talking.  "Bathroom?"  "Nope."  


     Their faces were worried, and puzzled.  I had to tell them I was here and just 2 in.  Anyways, I was super, mega hungry.  But, how to get their attention?  First, I tried screaming.  I doubt they even heard it. Then I tried poking them, mainly Mom since she was the closer of the two.  She just twitched her foot.  I sighed.  On thing left to do that I could do that I could think of, I started climbing her.  Finally, I reached her shoulder.  I gripped her shirt, then screamed.  That sure got her attention!  She jumped and glanced around.  So I yelled, "MOM! MOM! IT'S ANNA!  I'M ON YOUR SHOULDER!" 


  She stared at her left should.  Then she scoffed and started walking.  "OTHER ONE!" I shouted.  Mom looked to her right shoulder.  Finally, she noticed me!  She plucked me off of her shoulder and put me in her hand, which she put to her ear.  "Mom, I'm hungry.  I want breakfast."  "Okay.  Cereal?" she answered.  "Sure."  


   Mom walked over to the cereal box, grabbed milk out of the fridge and picked up a bowl.  She placed me on the counter and started getting me breakfast.  She picked out 10 cheerios and a teaspoon of milk in to the little bowl.  Next, she took a coffee stirrer spoon and fed me.  The spoon was too large, but somehow I managed.  


    After breakfast, I got ready for a miserable day.  Then I woke up.  It was just a dream.  Whew!  

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Honestly, I think it's pretty good. She wrote it in just 20 minutes? This seems great for an 8th grader. I mean, the pacing and the tension are well done. It's imaginative. She uses varied sentence structure. She threw in a twist ending. There are a few nice details and strong words, like jumping down the stairs one by one and the mom calling her "pokey."


There are some mechanics errors obviously (though I suspect a few of them are typos from the transfer to here). But nothing so huge that it seems like she is behind on mechanics or grammar. I agree that it could use more strong words. But then I'd just treat it like a first draft and have her revise it with an eye toward adding strong words. Right now, it has good bones. If she or you wanted to take it further, then you could just tackle some of the places where it could use improvement one by one.


I guess I can see the idea that there are "issues" but this was something she wrote on the spot in 20 minutes. No one gets their writing to be excellent in that time frame. It seems like WWS was working - she loves writing, her writing shows promise. You could just keep doing what you're doing. I don't think, by the way, that kids need to be forced to do more formal or academic writing before doing creative writing. There's a big skill overlap. There's no reason for her not to try her hand at both this year. You could alternate programs, or just give her time to pursue her desire to write creatively while doing something more formal for "school" writing.

Edited by Farrar
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