Daily Reporter staff reports

NEW PALESTINE — Several second, third and fourth-grade students at Zion Lutheran School recently participated in a seven-week Writing Club this fall.

Started by second grade teacher Brenda Kreutz, the interest was so enthusiastic, the club was almost twice the originally envisioned size.

The first session was spent coming up with many varied ideas, with an emphasis on utilizing things that happened to the students and things that they were familiar with. Next, the aspiring writers were given six interesting pictures, each with a brief synopsis, that could be used as the inspiration of their stories. Each student chose the picture that interested them most and used it to create their stories. Several students chose to write comics, while others wrote short stories. A few of the older students decided to write “chapter books.”

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Each young writer created a “story map” to think about the big picture before actually writing their story. They thought about their characters, setting, problem/solution, and then did a rough outline of the beginning, middle and end of their stories.

Further sessions focused on techniques to improve their writing, such as using a catchy beginning sentence to “hook the reader.” Another segment was spent on descriptive writing, using Oreo cookies to help the writers be more descriptive in their word choice. Students were also encouraged to use their own “voice” to let their personality shine through in their writing.

Encouragement, suggestions and revisions were a big part of the rest of the club’s time. Most students had not finished by the time the club did, but Kreutz encouraged them to come see her anytime to go over future drafts. A second club is planned for the spring, possibly with a newspaper writing focus.