Thursday, August 18, 2016


We spent most of the day today in our workshop talking about teaching kids how to write literary analysis essays. The work was fun, but on the fourth day of a pretty intense week, my brain was pretty tired of comparing and contrasting themes and characters, and it was kind of welcome break when I headed up to the pool to spend some time with a friend and her kids.

At one point, I found myself sitting on the stairs with 4-year-old Lincoln. He was examining Heidi's vast collection of pool toys as his older siblings splashed away in the deep end. I grabbed two plastic figures and held them up.

"Who is this?" I said, lifting my right hand.

"Iron Man," he answered.

"And who is this?" I asked pushing my left hand a little closer to him.

"Captain America!" he smiled.

I widened my eyes. "What if these guys had a fight?" I said. He widened his eyes, too. "Who would win?"

"I don't know..." he told me doubtfully.

"Well," I continued, "what are their strengths? What can this guy do that this guy can't?"

And just like that, he was writing a little comparative essay in the air.

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