When I began these stories, I set out to be a kind of kindhearted Pied Piper, choosing storytelling as a way of inviting you down a path toward the art and craft of writing. I also wanted to help you realize how important good writing will be when you enter the workplace—especially if you choose a white-collar world where you will have to write appraisals, proposals, analyses, descriptions, letters, reports and, of course, the inevitable emails. You will not be expected to write like a professional, of course, but you will be expected to write with clarity and purpose. You will notice that I have broken the content into two parts.
Part 1, The Big Issues
Here, you’ll meet James and Jessica Davis, our adventurous duo, as they learn the key elements of planning. Too often we don’t think planning is necessary; we just start writing without thinking and end up in a cloud of confusion. Although a lot of people think planning is a waste of time, it actually helps them find the words they want—and more quickly. Once you have a plan, you can start to write.
That’s what Part 2, The Tools Issue, is all about. To write well, we need to learn the tools, the mechanics. You’ll get plenty of practice creating examples and answers the way our lead characters do, but I doubt you’ll have the help of Dr. Sidney Slicer or a hip-hop robot. Yes, you’ll meet them inside, along with a bunch of other kooky characters like Ludwig von Mayonaze, the world’s greatest guru.
Please keep in mind that I did not write this book to compete with textbooks. I wrote it for you—no matter whether you’rein the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. I also wrote it for teachers who are looking for new and creative ways to help you learn to write. I realize you have to meet standards of one kind or another; that’s what textbooks can help you do. But I also believe your teachers first want to help you learn to write using the kind of universal techniques you’ll find in this book. When you do, you’ll be ready to satisfy the standards—and have fun doing it. One energetic student, Makayla, suggested that most of the stories could be adapted to short plays or skits (click on Story to Stage) that you and your classmates can act out anywhere. After all, you’ve got characters, dialogue, plots, suspense, humor, and drama to work with. While thanking Makayla, I was impressed by her spirit, enthusiasm, and strength of purpose. Is it any wonder I chose her as the perfect model for the lead character?
|“Lee Woods captures differentiation by presenting some of the most effective teaching approaches in his book, Finding King Onomatopoeia and Other Stories. His use of story helps students connect with what they are learning and his step by step approach makes writing less intimidating and fun. Parents who struggle with the how to of writing or who are working with kids who ‘hate to write’ need this book. Once a child sees just how creative he or she can be through writing, there is no stopping.” Jessica Parnell, Principal, Bridgeway Academy
Contact: Lee Woods email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 321-631-7823, 1 to 6pm, EST
“I was hooked right away”—Talal, 6th grade, Brooklyn, NY