Tag Archives: halloween activities

Spooky Writing Project Unit On Sale 10/21-10/23 @ TeachersPayTeachers

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spookystoryunitbkcvrSo, I’ve been writing down all my teaching wisdom to preserve and share it with current and future teachers. I’ve had 18 years experience teaching with a specialty in writing. So, I’ve been writing up some fabulous projects on TeachersPayTeachers.com. I’ve just put my Spooky Story writing project unit on sale for this weekend, 10/21-10/23. The unit follows current Common Core standards. It’s on sale for $2.36. Unit includes graphic organizers(worksheets), sample writing paragraphs, grading rubric, and all the lesson plans for the unit. It even includes a Spooky Book Summary Report.

I’ve had kids over and over say this was their favorite project in my classroom. So, if you’re a teacher and need something for Halloween, have the kids write a story. They can’t get enough of this. Or even if you’re a parent and you want to keep your kids busy from now until Halloween, try this project and have them read it on Halloween night. There is nothing more magical than watching kids entertain themselves with their own writing.

LINK To TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS HERE For Spooky Story Project!

Plus, my Halloween read-aloud is available exclusively on Amazon Here!

And I’ve just posted a new writing unit for Mysteries!

Hot off the presses: Mystery Genre Writing Unit LINK HERE!

OH yes, have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 4 Your Rough Draft; Adding Dialogue and Getting Unstuck

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Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Using dialogue to describe your characters action can propel your story forward.

Welcome to Day 4 of writing your own spooky story. Today, it’s time to work on connecting those middle events to lead to your solution in your ending. It’s going to be a busy day. Before I start, I have to announce the HUGE issues with my phone. It completely has died. I have to take it to the CPR phone store. So, I’m going to have to postpone my Periscope broadcast until tomorrow at 3:30 pm PDT. Sorry folks. When the electronics act up, it affects everything. But of course,  I can still answer questions and comments on the blog. Feel free to ask advice as you progress through your project this week.

Today is the second day of writing your rough draft. It’s the time you need to connect your introduction and problem you wrote yesterday to the rest of the story. You need to write the middle events that lead your characters to the solution, and end your story with the satisfying bang that they crave. In this section, you have to leave clues that your character can find or have events that push them along to the ending. Think of all those other spooky stories you may have read. They will help you get some ideas. Writers are active readers as well as observers. A lot of the time, a good book in the same genre will jog an idea for you. If you get stuck, try remembering some of your favorite books and try the same thing(s) with a twist. All you have to do is something similar but with twists and changes.

Another thing that helps me get in the zone for writing is to put on some music. If it’s difficult for you to concentrate without noise, that’s normal for some people. Some people need a background noise, like music, to concentrate. Some people need complete silence. If you’re having trouble, and know you need quiet or music to write, try making an environment for writing. For example, I have made several playlists for different projects using Youtube. I find the video for a song and put them in a playlist. Right now I’m playing a Halloween playlist to get me in a spooky mood. It includes Panic at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, Theme song from “Tales of the Crypt” and “Ghostbusters”. If I get stuck, I watch the video and listen to the music, and it gets my concentration going again. This works for me. But if you have other ways that help you as you write, please feel free to share in the comments section.

As you’re writing, be sure to check your story map to check off things as you add them. They will help you guide yourself to the ending. Also, to avoid telling too much, try using dialogue. Sometimes it’s easier to have your characters talk about something than just describe it. Here’s an example:

Mark and Becky walked up to the house at the end of the street. No one liked to trick or treat at this one house, because it looked too haunted. It had a older man that lost his wife a few years ago. He never appeared except to water his lawn now and again. Becky thought one more treat would be good. Her candy bag looked a bit small. Not many people had been home in her neighborhood. Maybe they could get something at this house after all.

Now, let’s add some dialogue to the paragraph.

Mark looked at Becky. “You think we should trick or treat at the house at the end of the street?”

Becky felt ill. “Really, no. I mean, that old guy never appears since his wife died. He only comes out to water his lawn. He’s not very nice when he does it too.”

Mark grabbed his bag looking inside. “It’s been slim pickings this year. Not many people have been home, Becky. Why don’t we try one more house? It couldn’t hurt, right?”

Becky shrugged her shoulders. What did she have to loose? One more house couldn’t hurt. 

Adding dialogue makes the scene come alive, and you’re no longer telling the action, it is being done by your characters. Dialogue can make the action propel into the next scene. Next, I’d have them walk to the porch and try to trick or treat. Since this would be my haunted house setting, somehow they’d end up inside the house. And then the real fun begins.

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Enjoy finishing up your rough draft today. Tomorrow, we’ll work on revising and proofreading to ready you to get that final copy done for Halloween. Ask around and see if someone is willing to listen to your story for tomorrow. And I’ll post questions and tips for them to look for. Until then, happy writing!- Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

Plus, for this week only starting, Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Write Your Own Spooky Story: Day 1 Free Lessons for your Class or Child

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Write your own Spooky Story this week, Oct. 26-31. Lessons posted daily!

Write your own Spooky Story this week, Oct. 26-31. Lessons posted daily!

Write Your Own Spooky Story

Day 1

This week I’m planning a big treat. Usually, I’d be doing this in my classroom. But I’ve been on medical leave and a sabbatical for the last few months. This leaves me without a classroom for the first time in 18 years. So, I thought I’d take some of my teaching on-line this week for one of my more popular writing projects, The Spooky Story. This week before Halloween, I’ll be posting daily steps for you or your little one to be writing their own Spooky story. I have done this in my classroom for over 15 years, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you during this special creative week when everyone has spooks and goblins on the brain.

 

Day 1: Build your Main Character

Day 2: Create a Sidekick and Villain/Setting/Plot

Day3: Start the Spooky Story Rough Draft

Day 4: Write your Rough Draft help and guidance

Day 5: Proofread and Revising Tips for your Spooky Story

Day 6: (Halloween) Rewrite and finalize your Spooky Story to read tonight!

 

Today, we’ll focus on character. Which means, you guessed it, you get to make up your very own spooky character for your story. Think of all those spooky stories you’ve read before, like Goosebumps or Scooby Doo. They all involve a girl or boy human kid that runs into monsters such as ghosts, vampires and zombies. But you don’t have to stop there. You can have your main character be a vampire, zombie or ghost if you want. The important thing is that your story will revolve around this character. They will be the center of your action. So, pick carefully.

 

Once you’ve decided on whom your character is, it’s time to add all the details that will come in handy while writing your story. It’s called prewriting. You can do it in a couple of ways. You can write a list answering questions about your character or you can fill in a detailed web of ideas about your character. I will include both. You can decide to do one or the other, or both ways. Get as many details as you can. They will come in handy when you work on tomorrow’s assignment, sidekicks and villians.

 

Questions About Your Main Character:

  • What is their name?
  • Describe what they look like. Hair color? Eye color? Age? Height? Weight?
  • How do they dress? What are their favorite things to go to school or work in?
  • What are their favorite movies, books, or TV shows?
  • Do they have a best friend? Who is it?
  • What about their family? Brothers or sisters? What do their parents do?
  • Describe their school or work.
  • Do they have special powers or abilities?
  • What is their flaw? Do they have trouble doing something?
  • What are they good at?

Special Extra Credit: Describe what is in their backpack or what they take with them always.

Idea Web for your Main Character

Idea Web for your Main Character

Tomorrow, we’ll work on a sidekick and a villain. These two types of characters are very important to help your main character and to cause trouble for them.

 

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title. Free Oct. 27-31!

Plus, for this week only starting Oct. 27, my Halloween Tale, Pumper the Pumpkin will be available for free on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-Pumpkin-Tiffany-Turner-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Until tomorrow, have fun making your character. I’ll see you tomorrow for creating a sidekick and villain.

-Tiffany Turner