Help make the world a kinder place by including all people!

What's up with Nick? This 3-minute video from the Organization for Autism Research shows how a kid with autism might be different from other kids in your class.
How can I make friends with kids who are different from me? Peyton and I have some ideas in this PDF. Maybe you have ideas to add too. Click here to let us know!

Meet Peyton

In the video below, she shares some advice for new friends

Writing is fun! Right?
Ummm...
Whether on not you LOVE to write, here are some activities to help you get better!
 
How do I get ideas​?
Ideas are all around! Keep a writing notebook to jot down possible stories, topics, dreams, interesting things people say, or anything else that looks/sounds/smells/feels cool!

Top

Secret

FREEWRITE! New ideas come as you are writing. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, choose a topic, and write as fast as you can without stopping. Don't worry about spelling or grammar or neatness! When the timer goes off, read what you wrote and underline any cool words/phrases that you wrote.

RESEARCH can make your writing stronger (even if it's not a research paper). If you're writing about birds, for example, you can look for books and articles online or in a library, but also try this–

Yeah, right!

Find an EXPERT, someone who knows a lot about your topic. Maybe your uncle owns birds or your neighbor is a bird watcher.
OBSERVE--find birds to watch. Bring your writer's notebook and write down what you see and hear. Write down questions you have.
EXPLORE your community. Go to a zoo or a museum that has birds you can look at. You know who else you can find there? Experts you can talk to!
Why are first drafts so hard?
You have ideas, but that blank page or screen is making your mind blank too. Yikes! What to do?
Read through your ideas (and research) and decide on the BIG IDEAS--the main things you want to show or prove. Make a list. Next, decide what order to put those ideas in. Now you have a rough outline! 
Write your draft quickly. Get your big ideas down on the page. Don't worry about spelling or grammar yet! Messy drafts are good.
How can I make it better?
Did you know that most writers LOVE to revise? Crazy, right?
Read your draft and fill in your BIG IDEAS first:
If you were the reader, would you understand the big ideas? Where can you add more details? Where do you need to explain better?
  • Did you leave anything out? 
  • Can you get rid of anything?
  • Should you rearrange any parts?
  • Where can you add interesting details, especially using the 5 senses?
You might end up rewriting a lot of your draft when you do this. Guess what--that's normal!​
EDITING is last--once your ideas are on the page in the right order, now you can look at the little things:
  • Spelling and grammar--the things that English teachers love to drone on and on about...
  • Also, CUT any unnecessary words. Less is more--I promise!
Finally, ASK A FRIEND to read what you wrote and tell you three things:
  • What parts did you like best or find interesting? Put a star there.
  • What parts had you confused? Put a question mark there.  ?
  • What do you want to know more about? Write that in the margin. 
Based on their comments, revise one last time. ​
WOOOHOOOO! Be proud of what you wrote. That is your very own creation.

© 2017 by CAROL CUJEC