Today in "Word Party" we talked about where writers get their ideas.
First activity: Using images to spark story ideas.
We used various images from postcards and notecards -- some whimsical, some nature photos, some reproductions of paintings, etc. I asked the kids to write a story based on the image, explaining what was happening, what just happened, and what was about to happen. Here's an excerpt from Gina's piece (her image showed an elephant floating in the sky):
" . . .The elephant wanted to get a closer look so he galloped quickly to the strange grass, and touched it ever so slightly with his front-right paw--then suddenly he went shooting up like a rocket, faster, faster and FASTER!"
Second activity: Personification.
I put random objects on a table and asked each student to choose one and write "A Day in the Life" of that object, giving it human qualities. Here's part of Alex's piece called "A Day in the Life of a Fork":
"Oh gosh, here comes the family getting ready for breakfast. OK, Jackson is picking up a spoon for his cereal and a fork -- oh gosh, he picked me! Here I go -- getting scrunched into these eggs..."
Third activity: Perspectives.
We talked about the idea of perspective, and how different people have different perspectives based on a lot of different things --- height, family background, and even age. Then we did a fun activity called "Walking in Someone Else's Shoes", where I put out four different pair of shoes (a child's pair of boots, men's loafers, women's black heels, and some crazy red sparkly 5-inch platforms). Each student chose a pair of shoes and then wrote a story about who would wear these shoes, and what that person was like.
I also gave the kids a free write prompt asking them to write from the perspective of a stack of paper sitting next to a shredder. Here's an excerpt from what Jordhi wrote:
" Ah! A shredder! Please don't put me in it! I'm too important! I mean, you can draw and write on me, and even make me into paper airplanes and fly me around the house!"
Yesterday we wrote "I Am From" poems, where students list the memories, smells, tastes, traditions, hobbies, etc. that make them who they uniquely are. Here's an excerpt from Kaitlin's poem:
"I am from apple pies and lemon cheesecakes . . . from Glee on Tuesdays and American Idol on Wednesdays . . . from asthma attacks and inhalers . . . I am from my family."