Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fantasy Genre & Writing

 My students  had been reading a truckload of fantasies, so they
 naturally wanted to write fantasy novels too. While at a Kelly 
Gallagher Workshop and scanning the books for sale, my eye was drawn to this book that was all alone and within seconds to be all mine! I love when I can find treasure like this. I just saw that it is for sale on Amazon for under $20, in case you are interested. I have bought a lot of dust collectors, and I can vouch that this resource is one that can go right into play!
Now armed with Adventures in Fantasy, I felt I had the tool I needed to move from read aloud to keyboard and the supporting lessons I needed to help my students get there. We made a fantasy genre word wall, looked at fantasy maps, compared our favorite fantasy authors, and talked about the different approaches they could take, from Heroic like Percy Jackson to fairies in the magical Realism of Emily Rodda.

 After lots of conversation and connections, it was time to create our maps. This is the one I was working on (not complete yet). The students (and me) could have worked on the maps forever! The book kept us on track for what our maps should include. After the maps were done, students told their story plans orally, or shared a particular place of conflict; as a way to get peer feedback or further develop their fantasy.

The maps became key in organization. When students were done writing their fantasies, I laminated and bound them. I was able to shrink their maps and turn them into end papers, just like some of their favorite reads. This ended up be such a wonderful fantasy genre writing experience.

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