I often have students Mining for Gold, or finding the Golden Lines in writing. I started the year off by exposing them to writing from all different genres and from professional writers to former students. I started by telling them that I was going to read a piece aloud, and they were to read along and then we were going to Mine for Gold, or find the golden lines.
Mining For Gold
a passage, phrase or sentence that :
Makes you wonder
Makes you laugh
Makes you sad or upset
Connects with your life
Is your favorite
This is a simple warm up activity that I do a few days a week. At first the students didn’t really know what to say, and just commented if there was a grammatical error or word they didn’t understand. I would always share the first few times, pointing out lines that stood out to me, words that resonated, etc…. As time went on, the student’s responses became much deeper. They were looking at the writing as a writer.
After a few weeks of just commenting on the work, we then moved to “next steps” for the writer. We would give suggestions that the writer could do to improve their piece. Now that we have written various pieces, I ask some students if I can put their writing piece on the Elmo*** to share with the class. Eventually I hope to have my students bring in their own passages to use golden lines.
***I always put the writing piece on my Elmo (if you don’t have one of these – do everything you can to get one- it’s my BEST Friend in the classroom! http://www.elmousa.com/).