index - module 1 - module 2 - module 3 - module 4 - module 5 - module 6 - module 7 - module 8

From Start to Finish

Facilitator Strategies
for the Pre-Writing Activities of Module 3

You will model effective use of Inspiration™, assuming that this may be the first time using this program for most participants.

The activities listed are designed to add just one or two new skills at a time so as to maximize success, comfort and thinking about the question at hand. We want the technology and the program to recede into the background.

Act 1

The first challenge is to make a list in Inspiration™ of the problems and issues C&W Music explores.

  • bad hair day
  • dog died
  • she got the house

You will demonstrate on the screen how to add 20 topics, using the outline and "Add Topic" function.

1) Open Inspiration™, highlight "Main Idea" and then type "C&W Problems" in the center of the cluster so that it replaces "Main Idea."

2) Show the group how to toggle back and forth from diagram view to outline view.

3) In outline view click on "Topic" 20 times so that there are 20 empty topics waiting to be filled.

4) Add two problems in outline form and then toggle to show them the resulting cluster.

5) Select an oval and show how to type in a third problem.

6) Ask them to fill in the rest while you play some C&W music in the background to inspire them.

Act 2

Now they will start a new cluster diagram with adjectives describing feelings often evoked by C&W songs.

Have them place "C&W Feelings" in the center, but this time show them how rapd fire works and ask them to come up with 30 words like "sad" and "down" and "dogged."

Act 3

We want them to learn how easily they can teach themselves new skills in Inspiration™ without waiting for formal training, so now you will show them the help menu and challenge them to drag their feeling words into groups that can then be colored to show similarities. Perhaps they will turn all the sad ovals blue or purple?

Act 4

Next have the group prepare an empty cluster diagram with "C&W Lyrics" at the center and at three or more sub categories like the following:

  • Insightful
  • So-So
  • Silly
  • Dangerous

They will be using this diagram to collect quotations during the next module.

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 These professional development modules were created by Jamie McKenzie. © 2000, J.McKenzie, all rights reserved. The modules may only be duplicated and served on school networks with permission of the author. For further information contact