Monday, June 25, 2012

Frustration-Teacher's Write Monday Mini-Lesson

Today's mini-lesson was brought to us by Ruth McNally Barshaw, author and illustrator of Ellie McDoodle.  She discusses how important it is to sketch out your writing work with illustrations before you begin writing. These words resonate with me: "And if you want to write better, draw first." 
Her drawing ideas are as follows:
"To use this idea with students:
-Have them draw storyboards of their work. Or their fellow students’ work. Or stories they have read.
Storyboarding is used in advertising for developing commercials, and in filmmaking. Limiting them to 6 or 8 small boxes for the entire story prevents minutia or perfectionism from creeping in. It solidifies pacing and focuses cause and effect. (Illustrators storyboard their picturebooks, one box per page. I do this, but I also storyboard my novels.)
-Tell them to close their eyes. Visualize the character they want to write about. Then draw what they see in their mind’s eye, their imagination.
-To add depth to the drawn character, add callouts to describe various personality and physical traits. Brainstorm negative as well as positive traits, for a more rounded character. Next they write a story using what they have drawn." 
Here's my attempt at drawing a picture of my frustration with biking lately.  I am a fit person and am very tough on myself when I don't live up to my own fitness expectations. Lately, my bike rides have been very difficult and frustrating for me!  After a 24 mile ride yesterday, I felt like this:
After drawing and letting my bike "talk to me, I already feel better and if it's not still raining out tomorrow, I'm going for a ride! 

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