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Feb 27, 2015
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Personal Experience Journal Writing

One of the best places to find ideas for writing is in personal experiences. Things that happen to us, or things that we have learned of, can often spark an idea.

Discuss the importance of personal experience to one's writing. Explain to your students that it is likely that they have already had many experiences that could provide fine material for writing, but that they just have not uncovered them. Tell them that good ideas for writing are often hidden and tucked away in ordinary events. We have to search for them to bring them out.

A helpful plan is to take a personal inventory of their experiences. The following list of questions can help students identify possible topics for writing. Encourage students to answer the questions in their journals. They can write as much or as little about each question as they like.
  1. What am I interested in?
  2. What things do I especially like? What things do I dislike?
  3. What makes me different from other people?
  4. What do I like about myself? What do I dislike?
  5. What would I change about myself?
  6. What makes me feel good about myself?
  7. What do I care about most?
  8. What would I most like to know?
  9. What would I like to do?
  10. Where would I like to go?
  11. What exciting things have I done?
  12. Do I know any interesting people? Why are they interesting?
  13. What could I share with others?
  14. What would I like to change about the world?
  15. What are some things that have made me happy?
  16. What are some things that have made me sad?
  17. What are some things that have made me angry?
  18. What are some things that have made me afraid?
  19. What advice or insight could I share with others?

Excerpted from Writing Workshop Survival Kit.

Highlights

Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

Handwashing Awareness
Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
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Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

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Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.

Teaching with Comics
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guide to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series, as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stores.


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