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Crafting Endings by Stephanie

Want to develop some resources for teaching the children about writing effective endings in
narrative writing using picture books?

A bunch of books are at work in this lesson, but you could probably get more insight from:
-The Revision Toolbox (Georgia Heard)
-After the End (Barry Lane)
-Craft Lessons (Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portulupi-sp?)

I would teach the crafting of endings as part of the revision phase. I'd ensure my students had done lots of writing, selected a seed to write a narrative about, and drafted the narrative. Prior to getting to endings, I'd do leads and zooming in to tell the real important part of the story.

As far as studying leads go, I definitely think your idea of using picture books is strong.
First, identify the types of endings you want to highlight in the picture books, then find
picture books that have strong examples of the endings. When "teaching" the endings,
make sure that you've already read the picture books for meaning and joy. Have the
students pay attention to the ending of the story, noticing what the author did. Make a
chart of endings.. You can use something like Katie Wood Ray's 5 column inquiry chart
(Wondrous Words, p.131): What is the author doing (example)/Why is the author doing
this?/What can I call this crafting technique?/Have I ever seen another author craft this
way?/Examples of technique in my writing (or, you could do OUR writing, and put
students' examples there). After you've taught a variety of endings, start modeling how
you can try on those endings with your story. You might also talk through how a couple
of the endings don't seem like they work, but you try them anyhow. Encourage the
students to try various endings, as well. You can have the students do an oral try on of a
couple, then choose one to write.. At the end, think aloud and model which ending best
fits the tone/mood of your story.

Stephanie
5th/CA
"Teach the writer, not the writing."