Friday, September 07, 2007

Poor Daisy!

Our poor pup - she was spayed on Tuesday, and is miserable with stitches and a big cone collar. She obviously feels fine, wants to jump and play and run, and is so upset that we're not letting her. A couple more days and she should be good. I had a Traumatic Childhood Moment when I was around 4, and my dog split her stitches after her surgery, so I'm a little bit extra cautious!

Our puppy's plight provided rich fodder for our paragraph writing exercise this week with J1. We started out by picking a topic. I asked questions such as: what are you interested in, what has happened lately in your life, what about the weather, or your favorite book...He immediately talked about Daisy and her cone. So, I asked him to talk about it a bit, and I wrote down the sentences for him. After we got those ideas down on paper, he put them in a somewhat more appropriate order, like this:

3. Cone is funny!
5. Daisy thinks it's a creature.
4. Biscuit is confused.
1. Daisy had to go to the vet.
2. She had to get spayed.
3. She shouldn't nip at her stitches.

Next, he took those sentences and wrote a rough draft on his own. (I made no editing corrections or suggestions to this first draft.)

"Yesterday Daisy went to the vet, I wasn't awake for it but dad brought her home today. Daisy went to the vet for surgery so she couldn't have puppies. Daisy started nipping her stitches at the vets'. They gave her a cone, it's very funny how she keeps slipping. Biscuit does not know what it is and is having trouble figuring it out. Daisy is also confused, she thinks it's a creature trying to dominate her."

Then, we talked about how it might be a stranger reading this, and they might have questions, like - who is Daisy? Who is Biscuit? What kind of cone? We also talked a bit about run-on sentences, and proper tenses, etc. I wrote for him for this last draft (he talked, I wrote - good for handwriting-challenged, yet verbal, children!), and offered a few prompts as to how to make things clearer. This is the second draft.

"Daisy is our 7 month black lab puppy. She had to go to the vet yesterday. She had to have surgery so she can't have puppies. Daisy started nipping her stitches at the vet's. They gave her a cone collar, and it's very funny how she keeps slipping over the collar. Our older dog, an English Pointer with lots of brown spots named Biscuit, is confused. He doesn't know what the cone is and is having trouble figuring it out. Daisy is also confused. She's acting like it's a creature trying to dominate her!"

Next week we'll talk about more descriptive, vivid language, and a strong opening sentence. I'll also have J1 copy it and correct his grammar and punctuation. I feel much better now that we're addressing his writing skills.

If only Daisy felt better!


Kelly said...

Poor Daisy! But how clever of you to turn it in to a homeschool moment! Great paragraph J1!

LH said...

Hope your pooch feels better soon!

I also intend to have a Composition and Language Arts in general focus to our school year.
May I ask what you are using for Lang Arts? Our students may be nearly the same level.

Shelly said...

A true Conehead! the poor thing.

MamaJen said...

I'll post more details soon, but for now, just FYI - we're using "Voyages in English 7" and "Better Sentences through Diagramming", both from Seton's Grade 7 curricula. Right now we're winging it on our own as far as writing/composition goes, though if I had the money I would absolutely buy the Bravewriter book, as it seems to match my own philosophy of writing quite well.