June 6, I went to visit my daughter’s class to talk about writing. The class had already published a book in their French class with a local writer based on an original idea, and their English teacher had been busily working with them to teach them the basics of story writing. So when I got there, I felt like they were primed.
Now, I’ll be honest. I was nervous. I don’t write stories for children and I kept thinking, “How am I going to hold the attention of 20 grade 2 students…and not embarrass my daughter???”
Well, I succeeded, I think. I decided to show up equipped with a few things to talk about, just in case. So, I spent the night before hunting through the Jungle (otherwise known as the basement) looking for old binders containing my writing from my teen-aged years, figuring I’d show them how things were done ‘old school’ (ie. With pen and paper). I packed the biggest book I could find, Patrick Rothfuss’s A Wise Man’s Fear—you should have seen their eyes pop and their jaws grow slack when they heard it contains over 1000 pages and more than 151 chapters! lol I also brought a copy of one of my all-time favorite books as a kid, a silly romp called Morris and Boris by Bernard Wiseman as well as my laptop to show them different writing programs and my blog.
It was fun! The kids asked great questions, they participated well and before you know it, two hours had passed.
One of the activities we did was break the students up into groups to complete a writing exercise like ‘real writers’. They came up with their own prompt words and then each student was asked to come up with one to two sentences for their group story. They were encouraged to just have fun and to be creative. I have transcribed them below EXACTLY as they were written. These are the prompt words: DOG, PIZZA HUT, STONE AGE, YELLOW, LOST
Group 1: The Dog who Got Lost in the Stone Age
Once upon a time their was a Dog. He was eating at Pizza Hut. He went in the frorest and he got lost. He saw honey he wanted to eat the honey. So he eat the honey. He turned yellow. He saw a time machine. He went inside. He saw aliens in the stone age. So he got scared. He tried to eat the rock. He broke his teeth. He tried to fix his tooth with a rock. The rock got stuck to the honey. The aliens took the dog. He was scared. Then the aliens took the dog back to the present. He was happy! Then the next day it was Christmas. Then it was Easter. The Valentine’s Day. Then it was his birthday. The End!
By Chloe, Adam, Flo, and Danika
Group 2: The Dog and the Cave Man Stone Age
Once upon a time there was a golden retriever. He went to the pizza Hut and he found a cave man. The cave man ate all the pizza. The dog was sad. He got mad. Then he wanted to go home but he was lost. He saw a yellow light. It was mustard. He said ware’s there is mustard there is a resterront! He said I wand a hot dog! The end.
By Claudia, and Isabella and Tyler
Group 3: Untitled
Once upon a time there was a yellow alien who had a pet dog. His favorite restaurant was pizza Hut. He was going to the pizza hut for his birthday. He was about to eat and then he couldn’t find his dog. Then a chidah brot him back to his oner. They they went to a time mashin and whente to the stonige. Two days later the time machine brought them back to the pissa Hut and ate pizza.
By Ludvic, Océanne, Noah and Lacey
Group 4: The dog in stone age
Once there was a dog name Filbert. He was lost in the stone age. He was yellow and hungry. Then Filbert saw pizza hut in the middle of nowhere. The pizza was made out of stone. Then a man found the dog and he tried to kill jim. But Filbert bit his butt and ran away. Filbert ran to his time machine and went home. The end!
By Brennan, Nivea, Liam, Kevin
Group 5: Untitled
Onece upon a time there was a dog that was yellow that loved pizza. So we went to pizza hut and bought five cheese pizzas. The pizza had yellow cheese on it. His enemy the witch took two peaces of the hot pizza. Then the Stone Age came out of the ground. He pooped on every won. When the Stone Age pooed on them. They thought it was chocolate. Then the people ate it!!!!!!!!!!!! Then 1000 million days later there was a girl who was lost in a scary and creepy forest. She wanted to go to pizza hut. But she did not no where pizza hut is. The friendly dog came in the forest and found the girl. So the dog brought her to pizza hunt! They lived happily ever after the end
By Seann, Megan, Victoriane, Gabriel
As a writer, this visit was one of my favorite experiences. The kids were eager and interested and they took to the writing activity with fervor. It reminded me I was that age when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I just hope that if any of those students are thinking about pursuing writing that they will be encouraged to go for it, and that those who never thought about it before might change their mind. In any case, I am grateful to Miss Kim, their teacher, for inviting me to visit with the class and to the students for giving me an experience I won’t forget.