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100 Word Challenge

It is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog. The link is usually open from midnight on…

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In Which The Geekiness of My Kids Surpasses My Own

A former student of mine who often wore a Star Trek VI T-shirt was trying to make an annoying person go away, so when he spoke to her, she said “Servant, attention!” in Goa’uld. When I paraphrased this story to my son, he immediately said, “Jaffa, kree!” Then he said something in Goa’uld that he translated as “You have come here to destroy me” (from the movie, he said). My…

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How Poetry Helps You Improve Your Writing

While I’d rather see a reminder that we need to know the rules of formal writing, so that we can choose to ignore them deliberately, otherwise this author makes a good case for the value of poetry. (Great training for the art of writing engaging headlines and story leads.) Poetry is not bound by the constraints of sentence and paragraph structure, context, or even grammar. In the magical world of…

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Save our children from the Grammar Tribe

Similarly, “dived” is the traditional past tense of “dive”, but “dove” has overtaken it, as speakers have drawn an analogy with “drove” and “wove”. At some stage, like “stopt” – the old past tense of “stop”, common as recently as the 1940s – “dived” may be obsolete. When will we start to dock points for “dived”? The playful Americanism “snuck” is replacing “sneaked”; will that be allowed? This isn’t nitpicking.…