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Welcome. My name is Corbett Harrison. I have been an educator since 1990, and a teacher-trainer and University adjunct professor since 1998. I specialize in teaching writing using differentiated instruction techniques. I also focus on critical thinking skills, especially during the pre-writing and revision stages of the writing process. I retired from the classroom in June of 2019, and I will continue to consult with schools, districts, and states who are more interested in developing quality writing plans, not buying from one-size-fits-all writing programs.

Beginning over the summer of 2019, I will be available once again to train teachers your school or district if you would like to hire a qualified and dynamic trainer. You can find general information about my workshops here.

If you would like to check my availability for a specific date or dates for the 2019-20 school year, please contact me at this e-mail address. My calendar is already fillling up with workshop engagements.

 

Always
Write & WritingFix

 
       Because writing--when taught well--can be the most enjoyable part of your teaching day, we created this website to provide fun, adaptable ideas for teachers.

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Contact us through this e-mail address with questions/comments about this prompt we specifically designed for elementary-aged writers: Corbett@CorbettHarrison.com

One of my favorite people I ever called a colleague and friend is Jodie Black, who retired the same year I did. As a teacher, I mostly worked with all levels of middle and high school while Jodie was exclusively kindergarten, but she taught me so much about establishing classrooms environments that put students in charge of things, and yet somehow the classroom still functions. When Jodie and I co-taught a graduate-level class at our University for seven years, I am certain that I learned more from Jodie about good teaching philosophy than I learned from many of my mentors at my own grade level. Jodie Black and I shared the ability to adapt just about ANY idea for writing and make it work for our respective grades. I hope you all end up with a colleague like I did; Jodie taught me the importance of adapting ideas from good teachers.

A Story-Writing Prompt Specifically for Primary and Upper Elementary Writers
How this free-to-use lesson came to be online: In 2008, working under the direction of Jodie Black, I participated on a team that created a new publication for our local writing project chapter:

The 6 x 6 Guide: 36 Lessons for K-2 teachers
(use the link to freely download this guide, with permission from Jodie Black)

My writing teaching skills, admittedly, are quite good when working with 4th graders and older, but I always struggled to design lessons specifically for the younger grades. My job in Jodie's project was to create a website where we could share some of the lesson contributors' write-ups in online form, and I also volunteered to create a series of online, choice-driven writing prompts.

On this page, you'll find one of those original prompts for young writers that was posted at WritingFix. Since its original posting there in 2008, I have made some improvements upon it.

Thanks for checking out the writing prompt and the student samples below, and if you have any questions about this page's content, don't hesitate to contact us using this email address: corbett@corbettharrison.com

three random nouns...can they inspire a story?
The Noun Game

press each button below until you find THREE NOUNS
you can put together in an interesting story

Student Instructions: Press the three buttons below until you have three nouns that you could write a story about. Plan your story in your head. Think of some good details you'll want to include. Then write the story and share it with a friend.

Hey, writers....can you create a story based on three interesting nouns? Click the three buttons below to find out!


                          

 

 

Teacher Instructions: Review concrete nouns with your young writers: persons, places, and things. As writers, we could call these three things "characters," "settings," and "important plot items," if you really want to sound fancy.

The first button gives many character choices. Before writing, have students orally describe their character; then, encourage them to try and use those same descriptive words in their writing.

The second button provides multiple setting options. Before writing, have students orally describe their settings; then, encourage them to try and use those same descriptive words in their writing.

The third button provides an interesting item for the character to have or find. Before writing, ask students to orally share a unique property about their item; strongly encourage them to use descriptive words about the item in their story.

Student Samples? If you have a student sample inspired by this page's interactive prompt, and if it would excite that student to have it be seen, please post it as a reply to this Pin at our Pinterest Board of Kid Prompts. Kindly, do not post students' last names. I'm looking for K-5 samples to share on this page, and I'll send you a gift from our Teachers Pay Teachers store if we end up publishing your student at this page as an exemplar for other students to enjoy and analyze.

Here are a few sample stories we currently have permission to post:

The Cat and the Box
by Carolyn, first grade writer

Three-noun prompt:
a cat, a box, and a factory

Once there was a black cat. His favorite place to be was an old pumpkin box and he lived in a food factory. Every night he would go and sleep in his old pumpkin box.

But then one night he went and slept in his box and he got trapped in his box. Then in the morning, the factory noticed the closed box and they thought, "This must be some kind of food or something." They put it in a bigger box, and it got shipped away.

Then it went to another place. It was a much nicer house. The people found the little kitty and they owned it. It had a much happier time. The end.

An Adventure
by Christopher, second grade writer

Three-noun prompt:
a man, a castle, and a diamond

Once there was a man who found a dark and gloomy castle but he still went inside it.

In the dungeon, he found a diamond. It was in a chest and he accidentally sprang the booby traps. The booby traps were dangerous but he was smart.

He escaped safely with the diamond and had a happy life. He became rich and famous after his adventure.

 

Giraffe is an interesting NOUN.
What INTERESTING nouns do you know?

Mentor Texts to Strengthen your Students' Awareness of Nouns

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun? by Brian P. Cleary


Merry-Go-Round by Ruth Heller


A Cache of Jewels by Ruth Heller
(a more advanced/specific exploration of nouns)

Student Samples? If you have a student sample inspired by this page's interactive prompt, and if it would excite that student to have it be seen, please post it as a reply to this Pin at our Pinterest Board of Kid Prompts. Kindly, do not post students' last names. I'm looking for K-5 samples to share on this page, and I'll send you a gift from our Teachers Pay Teachers store if we end up publishing your student at this page as an exemplar for other students to enjoy and analyze.

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Tired of boring book reports?
We were too!

Dena created these twenty-five reflective tasks for her students who were responding to chapters in novels. Each week, her students completed one new activity, and after four or five weeks into a novel unit , the students each had a small portfolio of writing about their book.

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Even if you don't purchase the entire set of twenty-five ideas from us, please use the three writing formats we share freely instead of summarizing a chapter one day in class.

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