Friday, March 11, 2016

As Writers Do

My students are doing the Slice of Life challenge this month, and that has given us a lot to talk about. Not only am I privileged to read 100 words or more of personal writing from each every day, what's even better are the conversations we have about writing. In addition to highlighting golden lines and showing them exactly why it's important to use punctuation and capitalization, we talk a lot about how to find a topic every day.

"But nothing exciting happens to me!" many have cried.

"That's not the point," I tell them. "The idea is find something, maybe big, maybe small, and write about it. Experiment! Try figurative language, or sensory description, or adding dialog, or making a connection to another time. Write about what annoyed you, or what made you happy for even the smallest moment. What surprised you? What made you think?"

And they have responded. "Look!" one student called me over. "I wrote 150 words about 30 seconds! It took me much longer to write it than it did for it to happen!"

"You exploded the moment! Awesome!" I congratulated her.

Other kids are really getting it, too, and we are beginning to converse as writers do. Yesterday I had my ukulele at school, and so I pulled it out and strummed a few cords right before lunch. Everyone laughed at the silly song I made up. "Are you going to write about that?" one of my students asked.

I shrugged. "Maybe. Are you?"

"Maybe," she shrugged back.

Later I saw her outside with her PE class. It was a beautiful day and I was taking a quick walk before a meeting. "Are you going to write about walking?" she called.

"Maybe!" I answered. "Are you going to write about this gorgeous day?"

"Maybe!" she answered.

1 comment:

  1. Every moment offers an idea for writing, but it takes some commitment to realize it. You're catching kids at age 12 with this wisdom. How cool is that?