March 28, 2009

What is a Wordzzle?

A wordzzle is a web challenge I recently discovered at Views from Raven's Nest. You are given between 8 and 10 words or phrases each week and asked to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them. There are a few guidelines in this post.

It struck me that this was just the kind of thing I was looking for to get J more interested in writing. So I presented him with the challenge and the following ten words: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph and cartography. He wrote for 20 minutes and we edited together. Here is the result.

The Map Maker's Hero

There once was a very fine man who was skilled in cartography. He was riding down the highway when a magical serial killer approached. The killer made the cartographer's (whose name was Henry F. Salvation) eyes become blurry and writing hard to read. Henry was becoming poor because he couldn't do his work any more. One day, his hero, Map Maker, came. Henry asked for an autograph. Map maker said, "Use your imagination to defeat the killer." When Henry set out to find the killer, he looked to the side and saw mirror images. He found the killer roasting marshmallows. Henry used his green power to create a partition between them. He also made green ropes to to tie him up and he took him to jail. Oh yes, he took away the killer's powers. Then he used his green power to make himself see to far lands and his writing neater.


I love that he was excited to write and that I got to teach him a little about the process. For each mistake we corrected, we talked about why the correction was necessary. It was a quick, fun, and painless writing lesson which we will be able to complete each week.

I'm already a little tired of the super-hero genre, but I have to remember that he is nine and he is writing. For that I am glad.

14 comments:

  1. Wordzzles are a great writing exercise and he did a fantastic job, I was shocked to learn he's only 9 with the quality of his writing!

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  2. Glad to have your son as a writer. Now if I could convince my grandaughter.
    Tell your son some of us like super heroes.

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  3. I like super heros. I hope your son will join us each week.

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  4. What a wonderful job! At one time when I was more ambitious, I hoped to get a wordzzle workbook published. I had thought it could be marketable as a college textbook and with the right vocabulary as a grade school teaching tool. It's a great way to learn vocabulary, exercise the imagination and have fun writing all in one. Anyway, I'm so glad that you and your son joined in. As you go around reading others (if you do), be aware that there are one or two that have some pretty adult content.

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  5. he is truly a gifted writer for 9
    and I love your approach to doing this together

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  6. That is wonderful. Your son did a great job. I'll have to check out Wordzzle. My son is the same age and it will fit in with his current lessons.

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  7. This is wonderful! Please tell your son this teacher gives him an A+! I love the imagination.

    Now, as to the super hero -- I had a 5th grade student who used every moment of his free time to draw. He was quite bright and had far too much free time, so I told him, the drawing was acceptable, but I wanted to see a story to go with every picture. He hated to write, but for the privilege of drawing, he agreed.

    Several years later his mother and I crossed paths. He was just graduating from the 12th grade, had already written 5 super hero graphic novels, one which won him a scholarship, and was on his way to college to perfect his craft.

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  8. Very good idea and what a great story! He writes pretty well, in my opinion!

    :-)

    MommyWizdom

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  9. What a great writing exercise!
    Like you said - he's writing - bring on the Super Heroes!

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  10. What a great idea. You two should have lots of fun. I like that imagination was the secret weapon.

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  11. Wow great post and use of the words. Excellent.

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  12. Kudos to your son, and to you as well for encouraging him to learn.

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  13. It's always great to hear when a kid is writing!.. Your son is the same age as my daughter, and it's brilliant to read the job he made of it.. he's going to be a force to be reckoned with I reckon, on the writing front that is!.. cheers!

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