Getting kids to write is probably infinitely more challenging than pulling teeth. After all, gums can be numbed and the whole experience is painless, with meds prescribed for later. Unfortunately, teaching kids to write is rarely, if ever, painless. Good teachers grab every resource they can muster and that’s why we suggest that you can use diamond quotes to make student writing shine.
Moti Ferder says, “It all starts with the stone, then finding a pretty design – something that enhances the stone.” We believe writing is very much like that. Finding the inspiration and then building the sentences around that inspiration to enhance it and make it memorable. Since Moti Ferder is a bit of a diamond expert, we’ve chosen to utilize diamonds as our inspiration here.
Diamond Quotes for the Classroom Writing Experience
There’s no doubt that our students understand bling. They know that the bigger the diamond the more it’s worth. They get the concept that the way it is cut contributes to its value. Now, if we can show them that writing can shine like that we’ll be well on our way to generating some authors of the future. So, we’re going to use diamond quotes for the classroom experience. First the quotes:
- “It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” Dolly Parton
- “True friends are like diamonds – bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style.” Nicole Richie
- “Big girls need big diamonds.” Elizabeth Taylor
- “At the edge of madness you howl diamonds and pearls.” Aberjhani
- “Diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck at it no matter how much heat or pressure they faced.” Jeffrey Fry
- “A muddied diamond is better than an unsullied pebble.” Matshona Dhliwayo
- “Life keeps throwing me stones. And I keep finding the diamonds.” Ana Claudia Antunes
You can find more diamond quotes here.
The Actual Lesson
This exercise can extend several days. And, you may want to change quotes every few days to add more opportunity for continued practice. Write three or four on the board. Have the students rate them, individually, on a note card based on the one they like best to the one they like least. Have them explain the reasoning behind their best and worst choices. This can be done in partners or small groups.
Now it is time to explain how writing is like a finely crafted diamond. Explain to students that structure, plot, and formatting all create the cut of the diamond, or the display abilities of the paper. Then illuminate that the creativity and verbiage utilized in each piece adds to the quality and luster, making some writing shine better than others just as some diamonds do. Click this for ways to better explain the elements of good writing.
After you are certain that students are getting the concept, ask them to choose one quote. Have them write a short piece that either includes the quote in its text or explains why they find the quote moving in some way. Encourage them to think beyond the words of the quote toward the bigger application of the meaning hidden therein. Diamonds all have stories. Quotes do too.
When the writing time has been completed, ask them to exchange their pieces with a peer for review. The peer can only write editorial comments that he/she believes will make the piece shine all the more. Return the reviewed papers and ask students to consider the peer’s suggestions. Then have them rewrite using those ideas.
Finished pieces can then be read anonymously and the class can vote on which piece shines the most. It’s a safe way to engage student creativity and share work. They’ll probably ask you for more assignments like that. You can get other writing ideas here.