The Extend Activity in Module 1 in the section “Mastery”  asks us – What concept in your discipline is like driving a car? Can you identify the component skills required to master this concept or skill?

The first thing that came to mind for me was that writing was like driving a car.

  • You need to know the basics (grammar and sentence structure) before you can start ‘driving’ your writing – in driving, you need to know the basic (gas pedal, brake, gear shift, etc.)
  • The more you practice, the better you get.
  • You can speed through writing, but it’s dangerous because you may be missing details or you ‘drive’ too far (need to do a U-turn and edit the work to get back to the destination).
  • Without gas a car won’t drive – writing is the same. Without ideas, your writing can’t go anywhere.
  • Without maintenance, your car won’t drive at peak performance. In writing, without proofreading and editing, your writing won’t be at its peak performance.
  • It can be great to drive with passenger that can keep you company or swap in to drive when you get tired on long trips. In writing, writing with ‘passengers’ allows you to gain new ideas and perspectives and can help you when you’ve reached writer’s block. (This is a stretch but I think it makes sense!)
  • Reversing while driving is like erasing what you don’t need in your writing.
  • Organizing your writing is like planning a road trip before starting your trip. Without planning your writing, it will end up disorganized and you won’t be able to have your message come across clearly. If you don’t plan your road trip, you won’t know how you are going to get to your destination which may cause you get entirely lost or take longer to get to your final destination.
  • Writing a polished essay is like driving a fancy car – it has detail, it is clean (clear), it reads (drives) smoothly; writing for fun is like taking an old jeep mudding in the bush – you get dirty and it’s fun!

Component skills that students need to master major writing assignments are:

  • pre-writing/planning
  • writing a rough draft
  • understanding proper grammar, spelling and conventions
  • editing the writing
  • polishing the writing
  • practice writing makes a better writer

Now that I’ve done a few different analogies for content on Ontario Extend, I feel like I’m becoming a pro at it!

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