When I first started giving the students free choice I knew I the girls would be writing about princesses and fairies and the boys would be writing about zombies and super heroes. That was ok as I could see the difference in their writing straight away because they were interested in writing about the topic they wanted to write about.
Here is an example of one of my girls writing who was reading at level 3 and could not write independently.
She could only write simple sentences using her yellow butterfly card with the gifted words I had given her.
As a class we moved on to writing narratives. I had set up on their i-pads a simple structure to follow for the lower writing group and a more complex structure for the students who were writing independently.
Here is the same little girls first attempt at a narrative.
For some reason my awesome plan I had placed on each i-pad didn't seem to be working. I was still getting the same sentence starters even from the writers who were independent. So I wrote on the board some sentence starters and we wrote a storey together.
This is the same girl's writing 2 weeks later
The whole story goes like this.
Once upon a time there was a leopard called Aaliyah and Aaliyah lived in a jungle. One day Aaliyahs babys were hungry and Aaliyah went to get food. Finally Aaliyah and the babys got the rabbit.
Once she had blogged her story we sat down and discussed the backdrops she would need to animate her story. She went on to Google and saved images, drew the leopard and baby's and this is her finished animation.
So I am thrilled with the progress. Allowing the kids to animate their stories has been a huge incentive for them to finish their writing. So now we just need to add more detail.