Posted by: nancyisanders | September 29, 2014

Writing Opportunity: Writing Exercise

I want to take several posts to explain important information about Kaeden Books’ page of writer’s guidelines, but before we start that, I thought it would be good to do a writing exercise together.

Step 1: Find a mentor text
When you target a specific publisher, you want to use their very own books as mentor texts. (Unsure about what a mentor text is or what to do with it? CLICK HERE for more info.)

For our writing exercise that we’re doing together, let’s choose their book FLOWERS by Karen Hoenecke as our mentor text.

Step 2: Read the mentor text
Click on the GOOGLE PREVIEW that is given for the book flowers. Read as many pages of the book as you can.

Step 3: Type out the mentor text
Now open up a Word document and type out as many pages as you can see in the preview. (For this writing exercise, let’s just focus on the repeating sentence in large type.) It’s always good to type out your mentor text (or portions if it’s a long book). It trains your brain to think and work in this genre among other benefits.

Here it is:

4: Some flowers are yellow.
5: Some flowers are red.
6: Some flowers are orange.
7: Some flowers are purple.
8: Some flowers are blue.

Now we can’t see the rest of the text, but looking at the table of contents for page 9 and 10 AND looking on the last page of the book for things to do DURING READING, I’m guessing that the rest of the book goes something like this;

9: Some flowers are pink.
10: Some flowers are for Mom.

Step 4: Evaluate your mentor text.
We can see that at this reading level, Kaeden Books uses:
A) Short sentences. 4 words per sentence with 1 sentence having 5 words.
B) Repetitive sentences with just one new word per sentence. Plus, each new word is a word kids learn in kindergarten. Not an upper-grade vocabulary word such as scientific or encyclopedia.
c) A surprise ending with the last sentence having a twist while using the same repeating part of the sentence.

Step 5: The Writing Exercise
A) Use the word “birds” and use color words such as the ones in FLOWERS.
B) Use short sentences of 3 or 4 words.
C) Repeat every sentence except change one word in each one.
D) Write 7 sentences and make the final one be a surprise ending.

Go ahead and post your sentences if you like and share what you’ve done! Don’t worry if yours is the exact same as someone else’s. (Of course, if you hit upon a super duper story that you’ve written, don’t post it here but save it to submit to Kaeden!) There’s only so many ways you can do this.

Then, in the week ahead as I’m taking time to carefully explain what each of the key points is on Kaeden’s writer’s guidelines, you can be working on more of these writing exercises on your own. Just look for different mentor texts at different reading levels and follow the 5 steps above.

Now, if you’re brand new to writing stories at specific reading levels, it might be helpful to read through my book Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books and familiarize yourself with this market. If you don’t have it, you can read lots of it on Amazon on their look inside the book feature.

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