Write Like This

Report
Prompts for Daily Warm Ups
FOR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AN
ORDINARY LIFE
WRITE LIKE THIS BY KELLY GALLAGHER
Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher (pg. 35)
The Bucket List: Day One
“Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in the
Bucket List, a movie about two men who compose
“bucket lists—things they want to do before kicking the
bucket—and then who set off to fulfill their goals.”
Compose your own bucket list for entry in The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
See the next page for an example.
Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher ( pg. 36)
Sports
*attend Olympics
*attend a Super Bowl
* attend a Wimbledon
Do
Involved in
*literary causes
*political movements
Musicians I Need to See
*U2
*Dylan
*John Fogerty
Baseball tour
*See every stadium
GALLAGHER’S
BUCKET LIST
Classes I Want to Take
*Astronomy
*IMovie
Write
* Write more teaching books
Dare to
*skydive
*parasail *segway
TRAVEL
Inside U.S
Outside U.S.
Mt. Rushmore
Rio
Montana
Costa Rica
Yellowstone
Moscow
New Zealand
British Columbia
Learn
*Play guitar *Spanish
Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher (pg. 35)
The Bucket List: Day 2
Choose a “hot spot” from your list that excites you. Write why this particular item
is meaningful to you.
Add as entry to Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 35)
The Neighborhood Spot: Day One
In Writer’s Notebook, brainstorm “spots” in your neighborhood, yard, or property that you will always remember.
Here are some of Gallagher’s:
*The fort I built with Mitch Zusman when I was eight
*The local 7-11, where countless Slurpees, Lemonheads, and comic books were
consumed
*Bob’s Big Boy restaurant—where we hung out in high school after Friday night
games
*Lifeguard tower number 4 at Huntington Beach
*Kaneohe Lane, the street that saw countless numbers of neighborhood football
games
*My “dunkball” basketball court in the driveway of my home
*Bob Dohmeyer’s backyard pool, where we jumped off the roof when his parents
weren’t home
Kelly Gallagher: Write Like This
The Neighborhood Spot: Day Two
In Writer’s Notebook: Select one spot in your neighborhood that
you will always remember.
Make a giant “T” chart in your WN to record why you like the spot.
1.
2.
3.
On left side of “T,” recall memories, dialogue, and details.
On the right side of “T,” consider why that spot holds a special memory.
Use what you wrote in the “T” chart to write an entry for Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
Kelly Gallagher’s Write Like This (pg. 37)
In Writer’s Notebook, copy this Sentence Starter:
I appreciate ____ because ____. This could be an entry for
The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
Here are some responses from students:
I appreciate honesty because it is rare. (Erik)
I appreciate life because of death. (Benny)
I appreciate my style because it’s all mine. (Kira)
I appreciate school because it helps my future. (Joshua)
I appreciate old people because they have wisdom. (Gabriela)
I appreciate Lady Gaga because of her creativity. (Neida)
I appreciate Skype because it helps me to talk to people in other countries.
(Raphael)
I appreciate S.E. Hinton because she wrote the Outsiders.
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This
In Writer’s Notebook, brainstorm this sentence
starters, which can later be added as an entry to your
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
“I really wish I hadn’t . . . . . . .”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 38)
In Writer’s Notebook, freewrite about this sentence
starter, which can later be added as an entry to your
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
“I remember trying to learn . . . . . .”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 28)
In Writer’s Notebook, freewrite about this sentence
starter which can later be added as an entry to your
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
“Once, I almost . . . . . .”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 38)
In Writer’s Notebook, freewrite about this sentence
starter which can later be added as an entry to your
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
“The best thing I ever did was . . . . . ”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 38)
Writer’s Notebook, freewrite about this sentence
starter which can later be added as an entry to your
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
“One lesson I learned the hard way was . . . . .”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 45)
Childhood Games Day 1
Writer’s Notebook, brainstorm a list of childhood games that you played as a kid or still play.
Here is a sample list:
ding dong ditch army hide and seek
Monopoly
Chutes and Ladders Sorry Mr. Potato Head Tag
Four Square
Dodgeball
Checkers
G.I. Joe
Battleship
Operation
Connect Four
Concentration
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pgs. 45-46)
Childhood Games Day 2
In Writer’s Notebook, write about how one game from your list taught you something
beyond the game itself.
“For example, playing hundreds of hours of dunkball
(basketball on a court with a lowered rim) taught me how to
pass, dribble, shoot, and defend, but it also taught me much
more. It taught me about the value of teamwork. It taught me to
accept both victory and defeat graciously (albeit gradually).
Most important, it taught me that if I wanted to keep pace with
my peers, I had better practice, practice, practice. Playing hours
of dunkball taught me the value of preparation as well as how to
work under pressure.”
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 46)
A Hard Moment Day 1
We have all lived through some hard moments. Here
is a list of Gallagher’s:
*A friend of mine committing suicide
*Breaking up with a girlfriend
*Intentionally ending a friendship
*Holding my dog of 13 years as the vet put her down
*My parents announcing they were divorcing
*Losing my laptop on New Year’s Eve at the airport (the book computer contained
Chapter 1 of the book I was writing)
*Stepping to the free-throw line in a packed gym in the closing seconds with a
crucial game on the line
****NEXT SLIDE
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 47)
A Hard Moment Day 1
Here is a list of students’ hard moments:
*Realizing that my parents had left me
*Seeing my mom go to jail
*Living in a group home
*Watching my brother become anorexic
*Leaving my home country
*Playing on a winless football team
*Discovering my mother was reading my private emails
*Learning my brother was killed in a drive-by shooting
*Getting caught cheating in school
*Discovering my mother’s drug abuse
*Having to choose with parent to live with
*Getting lost in Disneyworld
*Getting my first “F”
*Getting caught shoplifting
*Getting diagnosed with cancer
*Having appendicitis
In Writer’s Notebook, create a list of the hard moments in your life.
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This
A Hard Moment Day 2
In Writer’s Notebook, pick one hard moment from your list.
Write about what happened.
What has the experience taught you?
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 47-48)
A Watermark Event Day 1
“Sticks have long been planted in shorelines to measure the
depth of tides. When the water recedes at any given spot, it
leaves a mark on the stick, indicating how high the previous
tide reached. Long after the water is gone, the mark on the
stick—the watermark—remains.”
Watermarks are events in our lives that leave marks on us.
*****Next Slide
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 48)
A Watermark Event Day 1
Here are some of Gallagher’s Watermark Events:
The birth of my children
Moving to Huntington Beach as a young boy
My parents getting a divorce
Surviving an automobile accident
Meeting my future wife at a wedding
Attending my first Angels game
Graduation—high school and college
****Next slide
Kelly Gallagher Write Like This (pg. 48)
A Watermark Event Day 1
Here are some watermark events of students:
*Divorce
*Moving to Anaheim
*Losing a loved one
*Breaking up
*Kind words spoken by a friend
*Breaking an arm
*Meeting my father for the first time
*Coming to America
*A family member getting arrested for drug possession
*Trying out for basketball (and getting cut)
*Hearing someone play the saxophone
In Writer’s Notebook, brainstorm a list of your own Watermark Events. If you choose, you may take one of these
events and write about it for an Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life entry.

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