We’re finishing out the 2017-2018 school year by writing open letters to fictional characters. Some of us are writing in order to pay tribute, and others of us are writing to (constructively?) criticize.
Regardless of our take on the subject, we all agreed that a strong open letter has several characteristics:
a clear controlling idea is presented in the introductory paragraph
supporting points are made in the body of the letter, and those points are then elaborated with relevant details AND commentary
the controlling idea is echoed in the conclusion, perhaps accompanied by an appeal to action
the letter writer’s VOICE is engaging and authentic
the letter has an appeal to a wider audience
Many students enhanced their letters with GIFS and other images. We learned in our digital citizenship lessons that Fair Use laws can protect the use of copyrighted images as long as those images are used in conjunction with critique of a product.
As you enjoy the following open letters, feel free to share your own opinions in the comments!
In our Writer’s Notebooks this week, we played around with writing our own descriptions of the Phantom’s lair. Drawing upon the noticings and author’s craft lessons from previous units, we each worked to develop a description of the lair that created a strong mood.
Students had full creative license here: their description could reflect any characterization of the Phantom they wanted to work with. Was the Phantom evil, lonely, dangerous, pathetic, mysterious, depressed, romantic, bitter…? The choice was up to the writer.
Each worked to create that chosen mood through a variety of means:
choice of details to include and emphasize
use of imagery and figurative language
use of devices such as repetition and magic three
variety in sentence structure, such as the use of fragments or questions to create tension
choices in paragraphing, such as the use of a dramatic one-sentence paragraph
use of movement in the scene as opposed to description of a static space (the “narrative” part of the descriptive-narrative composition)
Enjoy the work of the following writers. What do YOU notice about the choices each made?