Writing Wednesdays #3: Word Maps

So I think my writing voldies were still reeling from last week, because I must have got the “Are we going to be learning more about Taylor Swift this week” question so many times before the session began. One of my fifth graders adored the similes and metaphor song so much he wanted me to play it again. I laughed, then I promptly told him we always do something different, that T-Swizzle was so last week. Although I truly was tempted to write “Red” as this week’s prompt. Just to see what the writing voldies associated with the color. (It’s okay. I went with “Purple” purple instead, ahahaha).

Anyway, this week we worked on word maps and word associations. While my eighth graders certainly had a fantastic grasp of it (I swear, though, both of them immediately went from “Snow” to “Angel tears” to “[insert anime/TV show/geek fandom here]”), my younger writing voldies needed a bit of warmup. In any case, we used the following as a warmup word map:


Meanwhile, my prompt for “Snow” pretty much went along this route:


And when asked to write for a bit, this is what ended up happening:

Word Map: Snow

His pulse raced as he entered the throne room. He’d hoped his heart would stop and calm down, but his eyes grazed the Ivory Throne and he saw her sitting there, resplendent in courtly robes, her face as beautiful as he’d beheld her so many years ago. It was frightening.

She was angry.

He could tell by the way she sat back on her throne, fingers splayed out on the sidearms, tap-tap-tapping in quiet rhythm. Her eyes did not waver, and she watched him perform his slow walk down the room. From afar, people would think she was relaxed and bored on the throne, but he knew better. He knew even sleeping lions knew how to attack.

“You let her go.”

It was a gift of hers, knowing when he was lying. He knew the minute he dropped the knife that he wouldn’t be able to return to the Queen and lie to her.

She knew he’d let Snow go.

He knew she would be furious.

But something had compelled him. Even more so than the Queen’s magic.

And just for fun…I asked my writing voldies to give me a couple words. This is the result of the words “Cas”, “Santa,” and “Angel tears”:


In my defense, I’m still on a Carry On kick. In my other defense, one of my eighth graders may have squeed when she realized my word map went the “guy on guy” route. The other eighth grader started giving me strange looks, but then I told her she couldn’t judge, not when she knows EXACTLY what I talk about half the time.

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