It’s Only the Beginning…of the Writing Process

Class began the usual way. Students read the first two pages of the handout below for their WA. This was to give them some ideas for how to begin their own pieces today.

Narrative Beginnings – PDF

We skipped over NBT today because we had a lot going on with beginning our terrifying scenes! To prepare for this, students worked with figurative language stations, rotating around the room to different pictures and writing figurative language of different types to describe those pictures.

For example, I showed students a picture of a field at night. There was a tree in the foreground, a barn in the background, and the photo was foggy and dark. Here were my examples of figurative language:

  • S: The branches, like the knobby fingers of a corpse, hung low.
  • M: The branches were the knobby and outstretched fingers of a corpse
  • H: Making it impossible to see anything, the fog settles on the farm.
  • O: Grrroooaaaan. Smash! Grrrooooaaan. Smash! The door opens and shuts in the wind.
  • P: Tumbling with each other down the path, dozens of brittle leaves lead the way to the splintered barn.

I know students often struggle with writing metaphors, so my tip for them is to first write a simile, and then reword it, so you keep the comparison, but you don’t use like, as, or resembles. My examples above kind of show you what I’m talking about.

Students rotated through a few stations, working with their partners to describe the pictures using figurative language, and I walked through and gave feedback.

At the halfway point through class, we switched gears, and it was time to start working on the actual writing of the scenes. Students first reviewed their rubrics, so they reminded themselves of the actual parameters of the writing assignment, and then they went to google classroom where they found their template. I showed students how to go to “tools” to get a word count of their writing, and then they had about 30 minutes to write.

For students who struggled getting started, here were my tips:

  1. Start by describing your setting in a really creepy and detailed way that incorporates figurative language.
  2. Revisit the handout you were given for today’s WA.
  3. Describe a few creepy things happening to your character – lights flickering, hearing a noise, seeing a shadow, etc.

At the end of class, students received book orders that will be due on 10/26.


  1. Read for 60 minutes.
  2. Have AT LEAST 300 words of your scene written by the time class begins on Monday.