Posted by Michael Beadle
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U C L A.
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway)
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two-tired.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A -flat miner.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
A calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
He had a photographic memory, which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Compiled from an AWITS Writers brainstorm
1. Activity: Human Camera
(big trusting exercise, set a lot of guidelines for respectful participation)
3. Activity: Paper towel roll - watching a part of the forest
Pair up - one observer observes and dictates, other is a reporter and writes
Use material for further writing, poem writing.
post author, Janet Hurley
From a lesson plan....
1. Students will understand how questions can help them to elaborate and be more specific in fiction and non-fiction.
2. Students will understand what makes a good question.
2. Students will practice empathic reading and questioning—linking back to their practice with empathic listening and questions—in pairs, sharing their thumb stories.
3. Students will understand the concept of first draft and the importance of exploration vs. perfectionism.
4. Students will understand the concept of creative authority—that they are responsible for all of their choices—a good writer is willing to try different choices for words, organization etc, and, ultimately, is responsible for the quality of the work.
5. Students will write the answers to the questions on a separate piece of paper and consider how these might fit into their stories.
Step-through of activities
1. Mini-lesson on asking questions to help unpack ideas, stories etc.
-First draft of a story ( fiction or non-fiction) like a garden bed. A good writer digs deeper to find more of the story, maybe to find the focus.
--Make the connection between empathic listening and questioning and empathic reading and questioning.
---Questions like the tops of potato plants. They are green and leafy and when you grab one and pull it up, you'll find the potato. Sometimes the potato that comes up is big and fat, sometimes it's tiny.
-Two kinds of questions:
-small potato (closed): specific details and clarification ex. what time of the day does this happen? These help with creating “word pictures”
-big potato (open): usually involves more thought and more writing and usually involves WHY or WHAT (Not always!) Ex. why did the girl want her father to move away? Or, what did the prince want most of all and why? These types of questions are also used for clarification and to deepen an understanding of the story.
- Using my thumb story as an example, students have the opportunity to ask me big potato/small potato questions.
2. Students pair up to share thumb stories.
--Reader keeps in mind that he or she is there to understand and help the story.
--Writer keeps an open mind and understands questions are to be helpful.
--Reader isn't going to give suggestions or correct spelling.
--After reading, the reader clarifies what they read with the writer.
So, the beginning of the story is….
And the specific situation that you are writing about is….
The end of your story is…
The point of view in the story is…
--The writer has a chance to clarify and makes notes.
--The reader then writes down questions on a separate piece of paper to help the writer get more specific and to go deeper into the story. At least one big potato question.
--Writer answers the question on a separate piece of paper, with a space between each answer and thinks about where it would go in the story.
Debrief this process--
Were you tempted to make suggestions?
What are some examples of questions that were asked?
What were the surprises?
Did you take notes?
Now that you’ve written down answers—does it change how your story might go?
Do you want to use all the answers?
How would you fit them into your story?
Would you have to change something before or after—add words? Add a sentence?
Who is in charge of your story?
Post author, Meggen Lyon
This is an activity that I pulled from the Writers in the Schools Houston camp handbook.
I liked it for its relative simplicity of process, as I’ve been trying to work on better scaffolding for the more hesitant writers in the class.
Start by drawing an inch, discuss objects, insects, etc. that are about that size.
View everyday things and places (your chair, the lawn outside, etc.) from the perspective of an ant. (Many students astutely pointed out that most ants are smaller than an inch.)
Read Silverstein’s poem, & think about what it would be like to wake up in the morning and discover you’re only one inch tall
Write about this situation, starting with Silverstein’s first line. (Many chose to revise the line in order to write in first person.)
This one worked well for me because the more avid writers were able to take off and fly with it on their own, while I worked with the kids who struggle with beginning.
About 5 students shared their poems who hadn’t shared before. Two of them included “credits” at the end of their poems, to recognize their collaboration with each other. It was cute.