Writing Hero - Tim Tipene

Description Writing

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What Is a Descriptive Essay?The descriptive essay asks the writer to describe something—an object, person, place, experience, emotion, or situation. This essay attempts to convey how that subject looked, felt, tasted, sounded, smelled, and so on, and express the emotion or sensation so clearly and vividly that the reader can feel it, too.


by Barbara Carter
Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. He walks with pride and grace, performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. His pride, however, does not extend to his appearance, for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. He enjoys TV commercials, especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats, befriending some and repelling others. He may snuggle up against your ankle, begging to be petted, or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory, as many cat experts think, but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. After my guests have fled, I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set, and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious, but endearing, habits.

My room
Soaked magazines cling to aged carpets
Lego boxes rock to and fro in the light breeze
Clothes, papers and pencils
Squeeze through holed, rusty and overloaded drawers
Thieving rubbers raid abandoned portraits
‘Save the alpacas!’ vivided onto a desk
Now blurred and hanging limply
As specks of paint touch the writing
A malodorous smell reeks from open test tubes
Crumpled boxes reveal dark and musty collections behind
Planets hang dolefully from cracked ceiling
The echoes of cats screeching bounce off each bedroom wall
A lifeless tamagotchi beeps in the corner whining for power
The echoes stop.
Crumbs of biscuits try to grope their way out of the rug
I look on, thinking of the past,
The good old past,
I feel no emotions, I can’t, ghosts can’t
I’m just an old forgotten stranger,
Drifting through this wise cluttered bedroom.

By Antonia

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This is what we will see in your writing to show you can …
  • Selects and explores significant ideas in meaningful ways,
confidently shaping ideas for a particular effect or purpose.
  • Uses a variety of sentence structures, beginnings and lengths for
specific effect.
Description of what you see:
4 or more sentences using the adjective/noun/verb sentence opener.

A reflection of how you feel:
thoughts that includes …

Language Features
Figurative language -alliteration, simile, metaphor, or personification to enhance writing.
Precise nouns and verbs

Variety of sentences - simple, compound, complex

Spelling, grammar, punctuation correct
Reworked for structure/meaning

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Notes from Tamati's Speech about Speeches

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Week 8 is school speeches. Are you prepared?

It is important to feel confident and proud when you are speaking infront of others. Delivering a speech is one way you can develop these skills.

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Plan, research, write and practice a 3-4 minute speech to inform, persuade, entertain, inspire or convince your classmates about any topic you like.

How to Write a Speech
1. Know the purpose (inform, inspire, persuade or entertain) and who the audience will be.
2. Know your time limit.
3. Research the topic.
4. Structure your speech correctly. (introduction, body, conclusion)
5. Have an engaging introduction.
6. Have a powerful conclusion.
7. Draft, redraft, re craft

How to Say a Speech
1. Use palm cards
2. Use eye contact
3. Use gestures
4. Props?
5. Practice, practice, practice

WALT – Write an engaging introduction

We will know we have been successful when:
  • It matches the purpose of our speech
  • It is appropriate for the audience
  • It sounds credible

Techniques for starting/opening
  • Start with a personal story, imagine if…,
  • Use why or how questions
  • Use a shocking statement or facts
  • Use quotes
  • A riddle/humor
  • Anything else that suits the purpose

Then formally say a salutation/greeting - Use part of your mihimihi "Tena kautou, tena kautau, tena kautau katoa" or "Mr Taylor, Ms Macaskill. fellow students. Good morning to you all."

the purpose and why your speech is important to them.

Give the audience a reason to listen.

Language Features

  • Use specific words
  • Use inclusive words (‘we’ and ‘our’ as well as personal ones like ‘yours’ and ‘you’)
  • Vary sentence length
  • Use interactive or rhetorical questions Have you got that? What do you think of that?
  • Repetition to emphasis main points

How to write a powerful conclusion

What you choose to do with your ending should support the overall purpose of your speech.

Here are three effective alternative ways to end a speech. Each ensures your speech ends powerfully rather than a fading away.
A summary of your most important points ending with a:
  • powerful quotationFor example:
    "Martin Luther King, Jr said 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.' Now is the time to decide. Now is the time to act. Now. Where do you stand?"
  • challenge For example:
    "You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

  • call backHere's an example of what you could say:
    "Remember that picnic tale? 
Every blue sky summer's day I'll see Amy in my mind. Her red picnic rug will be spread on green grass under the shade of an old oak tree. There'll be food, friends and laughter. I'll see her smile, her pleasure at sharing the simple things and I know what she'd say too. I can hear her. "Come on, try a piece of pie. My passing is not the end of the world you know."

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Checking In: How am I going with my Speech Writing?

Introduction does not attempt to engage the audience and the main idea of the speech is unclear
Introduction somewhat attempts to engage the audience but the main idea of the speech is somewhat unclear
Introduction engages the audience. The main idea of the speech is clear
Introduction is creative and engages the audience. The main idea of the speech is clear
Body- Ideas, details and connection to the main topic
-Topic has an unclear focus and is not effectively developed.
-Main idea is unsupported.
-Speech is described with limited detail.
-Topic is somewhat general.
- Speech has little support for the main idea. Ideas are poorly developed.
-There is little descriptive detail.
-Topic is specific.
-Main idea is supported. There is a good sequencing of ideas.
-There is an effective use of descriptive details.
-Topic is specific and unique.
-Main idea is thoroughly supported. Ideas flow together well and engage audience’s interest.
-There are many effective and interesting details.
Lacks an adequate conclusion. Main idea was not restated. Audience was unsure if the speech had ended.
Conclusion is weak and somewhat unrelated to the main idea.
Conclusion is good, provided and effective ending. Restated the main idea of the speech.
Conclusion is clear, concise and effective. Reflects content and the main idea in an original and interesting way.
Sentence Structure and vocabulary
Vocabulary and sentence structure is limited and repetitive.
Vocabulary and sentence structure lacks originality and is repetitive.
Vocabulary and sentence structure are original and effective.
There is an extensive use of vocabulary and sentence structure. Vocabulary is original, effective and expressive.

Checking In: How am I going with my Speaking?

Fluency and Clarity
-Voice is not audible and not clear.
-Student mumbles and cannot be understood OR mispronounces many words.
-Voice is somewhat audible and clear.
-Speaks clearly and distinctly some of the time, but mispronounces some words.
-Voice is audible and clear.
-Speaks clearly and distinctly most of the time, mispronounces a few words.
-Voice is very clear and words are clearly enunciated.
-Always speaks clearly and distinctly and does not mispronounces any of the words.
Pace and Flow
-There are a significant amount of pauses/stoppages in the speech or the pace is too fast or too slow.
-Pauses and/or too rapid a pace interrupt the flow of the speech making it difficult to understand.
-Pace and flow of the speech is effective. There are no long pauses and the pace makes it easy to understand the speech.
-Pace and flow of the speech is effective. The pace and flow is adjusted purposefully to improve the impact of the speech.
Eye Contact
-Eye contact is not maintained throughout the speech.
-Eye contact is maintained throughout some of the speech.
-Eye contact is maintained throughout most of the speech.
-Eye contact is consistently maintained throughout the speech.
-Poor posture.
-Good posture maintained some of the time.
-Good posture maintained most of the time.
-Excellent posture consistently maintained throughout.
-The speaker is unsure during delivery and demonstrates a lack of enthusiasm.
-The speaker tends to hesitate during delivery and shows some enthusiasm.
-The speaker is comfortable with the audience and shows enthusiasm.
-The speaker is confident, dynamic and shows excellent enthusiasm.
Length of speech
-Speech is extremely too long or too short.
-Speech is too long or too short.
-Speech is just under or over 3 minutes.
-Speech is within the suggested time limit of 3 minutes.
-Speech is not memorized at all.
-Some parts of the speech are memorized.
-Most of the speech is memorized.
-The entire speech is memorized.

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How to write an opinion

Everyone has an opinion and it is important to know how to share these especially if you want to convince someone!

How to Plan your opinion

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Language Features
  • Often starts with a description to introduce the topic to the reader - orients them to what you are going to give an opinion on
  • Statement to show your opinion
  • Point of view
  • Elaborate
  • Examples
  • Restate your point

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  • Furthermore...
  • Also ....
  • And another thing...

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.08 AM.png Evaluate a word art example and write your opinion about how effective it is.

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Explanation Writing
The writer's purpose is to explain how something works or state reasons for some phenomenon. Explanations answer the questions "how" or "why".

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.08 AM.png Communicate like a scientist and write an explanation of

how or why things work.

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Use a model of excellence to learn about the structure and language features.

Remember the best writing is original and brave so don't just copy the model, use it to 'borrow' ideas from.

Language Features
  • Often starts with a question as a title.
  • Logical sequence (intro, paragraphs, conclusion)
  • Could have a diagram with lables
  • cause and effect language (think AAAWWUBBISS)
  • time indicators (first, then, following, after a while, finally)
  • present tense (are, turns, happens) i.e. not –ed words
  • actions verbs (falls, rises, changes)
  • topic words

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Explanation Writing Checklist

Evaluate your explanation writing using the checklist below. You could even swap your work with a friend and evaluate each others!!

In my writing I have used:
Capital letters

Full stops

Question marks

Technical vocabulary

Time connectives – next, later…

Causal connectives – so, because, when…

Correct spelling

Underlined technical words

The present tense

Layout of writing
Started each page with a question

Sub headings

Labelled diagrams or pictures

A contents page

A glossary

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.37 AM.pngThis is how you are going to carry out the learning.

1. Watch some you tube clips on the STEAM page of the Wiki to hear some examples of how catapults work

2. Listen for the scientific language used so you can use it in your explanation. We will make a word list so you can get the words right.

3. Look closely at all the parts of your machine and think about how it works. What parts are connected, how do they work together to catapult the ping pong ball.

4. Describe and explain in detail how it all works.

5. Keep checking the criteria and model in your writers notebook to make sure you are using the correct structure and correct language features.

6. Write, rewrite, rewrite until it is looking as good as you can make it.

7. Celebrate personal excellence.

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Click on this diagram to take you to some instructions.

Procedural Writing - Instructional Writing

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The purpose of instructional writing is to describe how something is done so it can be replicated. Instructional texts include information that is broken down into logical sequence of steps to enable the reader to interpret and replicate the process described.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.08 AM.png Write clear instructions for your game so it is fair for everyone at Market Day

WALT: write complex sentences

The Interrupter

Recognize an interrupter when you see one.

An interrupter is a word, phrase, or clause that significantly breaks the flow of asentence. Read the examples that follow:
    • Please take those smelly socks to the garage, Kris, and put them in the washing machine.
    • My essay, to be perfectly honest, flew out of the bus window while I was riding to school.
    • What you just ate, if you must know, was squid eyeball stew.

Punctuate an interrupter correctly.

Generally, you separate an interrupter from the rest of the sentence with commas—one in front of the interrupter and one behind. The pattern looks like this:
    • The First Part of the Sentence + , + Interrupter + , + The Rest of the Sentence.
Check out these examples:
    • Jerome's calculus teacher is usually a real slave driver. Tonight, surprisingly, Jerome has only fifty problems to solve as homework.
    • My cat Fuzz loves to curl up on my lap and sleep. Buster, on the other hand, prefers to use my thigh as a scratching post.
    • The bathroom tiles, whenever time permits, require a good scrubbing, for the grout is black with mold.
If you want to emphasize the break more strongly, use dashes to separate the interrupter from the rest of the sentence. The pattern looks like this:
    • The First Part of the Sentence + — + Interrupter + — + The Rest of the Sentence.
These sentences illustrate the pattern:
    • That chocolate-broccoli muffin—though a good source of vitamin C—will upset Frank's stomach this early in the morning.
    • My brother's seven-foot python—aptly named Squeeze—slithered out the open back door and frightened Mrs. Russell, our next-door neighbor, nearly to death.
    • That nuclear orange jacket—believe me—fails to complement your lime green pants.

Personal Experiences/Memoir/Anecdotes - "Meaningful Memorable Moments"

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If we want our readers to remember our words long after they have finished reading, we have to give them writing that is worth rememebring. The more meaningful our writing is to them the more memorable it will be as well.

Meaning is made in the reader but the words we write spark the meaning-making process.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.08 AM.pngWe want to write some great camp memories that go with our art work to share with our families.

WALT:Hook the reader into our writing using a variety of attention grabbers

Keep the reader interested by using exciting words and precise language (no waffle)

Add mood, feeling and tension into our writing by using a variety of sentence starters and lengths

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 6.00.57 AM.png Use models of writing to notice how other authors use language features

This is a Level 4 piece of writing.
What will your goals be for your writing?
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Learning Steps:

1. Read lots of other authors anecdotes about their personal experiences. Notice how they have shown all their emotions (scared, excited, challenged, nervous, exhilarated, proud)

2. Visualise and remember your moment on camp

3. Write jottings, use your camp notebook and photos to help you remember

4. draft - check in with the criteria

5. rework -check in - rework - check in - rework

6. Publish with your art work