Ideas and Content

Ideas and Content are in a sense the heart of the writing.  Everything that is said comes back to ideas and content.  The two keys are clarity and details.  Making a topic clear and manageable is so important.  Details can make or break any piece of writing.  Ideas and content focus on clear writing that presents details in an interesting, fresh manner. 






Ideas and Content Picture Books


Iím in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor

Jumanji  by Chris Van Allsburg

Miss Nelson is Back  by Harry Allard

Secret Place  by Eve Bunting

The Magic Schoolbus (series)  by Joanna Cole

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon  by Mike Thaler

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  • Use graphic organizers to brainstorm writing topics
  • Use unusual pictures from magazines, calendars, cards, or from your own album that will help jumpstart detailed writing.  Have students describe the picture in great detail.  Post the pictures and read the writing and challenge students to match the description with the cards.
  • Rewrite a familiar tale or story using only the main events and characters leave out the details.  Read the rewritten story to students.  Challenge students to decide what is missing.  Brainstorm ways to improve on the story.  To end this mini lesson read the original full length version of the story.
  • Find a busy scene with lots of action and people. (beach, shopping mall, farm, fair, or a park)  Show the picture to students and have them write the things they see on sticky notes.  Post the picture and the sticky notes on a bulletin board and let this go on for a few days.  Discuss what the students thought this activity showed about writing.  Details are important but sometimes too many details can overwhelm and bog down writing.  Have students choose one aspect of the picture to write a story about.  (mom and child in the mall, the lone boy on the beach, or the black sheep in the pasture)
  • Have students write about some exciting event that happened to them recently.  Concentrate on s narrow topic and fresh exciting details.

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