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Writing: A Writer's Ear

Boss and Secretary

 

Today's Snack: Enjoy carrot, celery and broccoli sticks dipped in your favorite kind of salad dressing, with a tall glass of cranberry juice.

 

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Supplies:

Spiral notebook and No. 2 pencil

 

 

In the olden days before computers, the boss in an office used to "dictate," or say aloud, the content of a business letter to an employee acting as a "secretary."

 

The secretary would type up the letter, the boss would sign it, and off it would go in the mail.

 

Nowadays, nobody has to "take dictation" since we can all write and print out our own letters on computer! But learning how to listen to someone speaking, and put those words into writing accurately, is a good skill.

 

Once you can write words fairly fluently - quickly, without a lot of fuss - you are ready to "take dictation" from someone else.

 

It's important for helping you form a mental picture of the words, and be able to write them rapidly and accurately. It also helps your listening skills, which are really important for remembering facts and ideas, and putting them in writing in an effective way.

 

When you act as the "secretary," you write down what the "boss" says on the next page. Go over it afterwards to see how accurate you were.

 

When it's your turn to be the "boss," and someone else writes down what you say, you can lean back in a chair, put your feet on the table or desk, and pretend to be smoking a cigar like a big boss (for heaven's sake, use a straw or a carrot - cigars aren't good for you!).

 

Start with a single word or name, and work your way up to complete sentences and then paragraphs.

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Writing 2010

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