Any published piece of writing you read is inspired by a well crafted, specific idea. The topic the writer chooses to engage in should be something they are deeply connected to and can be narrowed to a small focus. Imagine you are looking through a telescpope at a rainforest scene. In the scene you can see many details, such as: butterflies fluttering near flowers, snakes slithering up a tree, branches hanging, water trickling, and a monkey peeling a banana. Sure the writer can write about all of the details they see in the scene. But consider turning the telescope around. Narrow in on one of the details. The story really lies in the monkey peeling a banana. The details describing how the monkey found the banana, the monkey’s expression, and the delight in the monkey’s face after he takes his first bite provide a narrowed topic that will keep the writing focused, clear, and specific. Here are some apps that I use to help develop and support the Idea Trait:
To support my students with the Idea Trait, I use the Simple Mind app. This app is a mind mapping app that will allow your students to create supporting details for their topic. Here is an image that demonstrates how my students utilize this app to support their writing idea.
Built in Camera!
Also, I use the camera! Many times my students are writing about topics they can easily take an image of. They can also screen capture images from the web to help support their idea. They can use these images to add details to their Simple Mind app to support their topic.
Built in Voice Memo App
Sometimes talking with a friend before they begin writing works to help develop their idea. Students can work with a partner to discuss their topic idea and they can record their conversation using voice memos. They now have an oral documentation of all of their ideas. Also, after they write their piece, they can refer back to their original voice recording to add more details during the revision phase.
This blog entry is part of a series focusing on integrating iPods during the writing block with a focus on the use of the 6 +1 Traits of writing. Please return to find out about specific apps I use to support the other traits of good writing.
Please share other ideas to utilize iPods to support the Idea Trait!