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Question about Writing Tales.


Bokons
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My 9yos is enjoying Writing Tales overall, but he doesn't like having to write two drafts for each story. I was wondering if it would be okay to just let him skip to the second draft where he can personalize his story.

 

He does complain and groan when I tell him it's time to write his first draft, so I don't want him to start disliking writing. He can write fairly well, and is doing quite well with his stories.

 

Colleen

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My 9 yo dd in WT1 loves adding her creative touches. My 12 yo dd doing WT2 does not. There have been several stories where we have just revised her rough draft, rather than following the suggestions for adding creative touches. Lately, though, I've been giving her my own suggestions for additions she could make to her rough draft and/or finding ideas from the Homer core skills to help her flesh out her story.

 

I've had to be sneaky about the creative part for my 12 yo because she really didn't like to do it. While I don't think it's integral to the program, I do think that revising the rough draft is an important part of the process.

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Absolutely. The creative touch aspect to the final draft is only there for the students that like to add their own personal touch to the story. The main goal is to get the student writing well and to enjoy writing. If this is not helping to achieve that goal, don't do it! But do insist that the student complete a neat final draft of the story that represents his or her best work.

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He just doesn't like to have to write two drafts before getting to add his personal touch, so I'll just let him write his first draft and add his creative touches right away, instead of waiting until the second rough draft.

 

Thanks for all the replies.

 

Colleen

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He just doesn't like to have to write two drafts before getting to add his personal touch, so I'll just let him write his first draft and add his creative touches right away, instead of waiting until the second rough draft.

 

 

I may be wrong, but the way I read the instructions are this:

 

1. Write rough draft, not adding any creative touches, just copying the original story.

2. Write second draft, adding creative touches.

3. Recopy second draft as a final draft.

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to skip the first rough draft and just go straight to the second draft. Is there a reason for doing the first draft? I'm just wondering if being able to do the first draft is more important than the second draft, if it's a necessary skill to be able to imitate the story without making any changes first.

 

If the first draft is the important one, then I'm sure my ds will have no problem just writing the first draft. He just doesn't like having to write two of them for each story.

 

Colleen

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Well, it is actually important for them to be able to imitate the original story first in their own words, before they start thinking about adding their own creative touches. The most important goal is to get them to manipulate words into well-written sentences. If they start with a story that is already plotted out for them, they can concentrate on the words themselves and work on honing that craft. This is why in the first step it IS rather important that you insist on them sticking to the original plot. If you allow their creativity to take over then that's where their concentration will be, instead of on their "word work." That's why I allow a time for creativity to come in later.

 

Now when some children are allowed to add their own creative touches, they do nothing more than change the names of a few characters. If that's where your child is, then I wouldn't worry about this. But other children change a lot more than that. For example, my daughter took "The Boy that Cried Wolf" and changed it to "The King and His Yo-yos"! The basic plot was the same, but not much else! Her rough draft was, indeed, a rewrite of "The Boy that Cried Wolf," and we edited it and re-edited it until it was without mistakes and well-written. We did the same thing with her Final Draft of "The King and His Yo-yos" and she was proud of both stories.

 

I hope this helps to explain the process some more.

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Colleen, are you typing the final draft for him? I have my dd handwrite the initial draft, but for the final I type it for her. It gives a nice product that we plan to bind at the end of the year and makes it easier to get out of them. The models do tend to get long!

 

Just to echo what Amy said, I find in my little WT2 class that the dc do try to sneak in little creative touches even on the first draft. I think it's better though to hold them to imitation for the first draft because it gives them a chance to imitate the language and structure of the original. On the creative version, they sometimes end up changing much more and can lose the benefit of the early imitation, if they haven't done that already, meaning they turn out junk rather than a sophisticated imitation, if that makes sense. At least that's what I see with my dd. Also, I don't think there's a dc around who can't improve their writing, combining sentences, making them stronger and more descriptive, etc. Even when they don't have ERRORS, they still have room for IMPROVEMENT. My dd turns out a very neat, reasonably error-free first draft, but I still have her do a final copy, precisely to force her to IMPROVE her writing. So I'd make him do two drafts, if only for the good habit it develops. Remember I type that 2nd draft for her, meaning it takes us 15 minutes total to do, if that. We go through her initial with a red pen and she states her changes orally to me. It's not a big deal but it forms good habits, the skill of accepting criticism, and the goal of turning out work where you've given your best.

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I hadn't thought of typing out the final draft for him. Sometimes, he will type it out himself, but I think I will do it for him to get it done more quickly.

 

I didn't realize how important the initital imitation is, so I will definitely make sure he does that part.

 

Colleen

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