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“Write Right” Students Create Non-Fiction with Engaging Activities and “Brain Breaks”

Teacher Allison Burns inspired by her own college creative writing experiences to guide students to brainstorm, create, and have fun.

C.Perez

C.Perez

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“Some stories will have superheroes with crazy powers, or they will write similes and metaphors not knowing they are using a figurative writing device,” stated Miss Allison Burns about her students who are enrolled in “Write Right”, a PYLUSD Summer Enrichment class being taught at Lakeview Elementary, during the months of June and July, 2017.

Burns, who teaches language arts and English Language Development ( ELD) at Valencia High School during the academic school year, was inspired to create the course based upon her positive experiences in a creative writing course in college. “ I really enjoy creating stories but also enjoy hearing the types of stories that other like to share,” she added. 

Burns believes that summer can be the ideal time for students to explore non fiction writing. “Since our California teaching standards lend themselves more to non-fiction writing, I wanted to take the summer to share one of my passions and hear the stories that these students have to share.”

“Both teachers and students are in summer mode this time of year so I wanted to make the day engaging and have limited time where they are just writing. So I mix in a lot of activities that help get the creative juices flowing and we don’t focus on spelling or grammar as much. Just putting their ideas on paper,” stated Burns.

Because writing can challenging, Burns builds in “brain breaks” for her students. “So I mix in a lot of activities that help get the creative juice flowing and we don’t focus on spelling or grammar as much. Just putting their ideas on paper.”

“We play a lot of games and activities, such as one similar to ‘heads up’  (the app) game that they enjoy. The challenging part comes to actually writing the story so we plan a lot of brain breaks and start with a lot of brainstorming before we write sentences.”

Burns likes to give her students a few “guidelines” and then let the students use their imaginations to brainstorm and create.

“I want these students to be able to put their creativity and imagination into writing. By the end of our time together I want them to feel more comfortable with their writing and understanding of basic plot structure that can help them identify elements of a story in their readings,” Burns explained.” I also just want them to have fun and let their creativity run wild.” 

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“Write Right” Students Create Non-Fiction with Engaging Activities and “Brain Breaks”