One of the things we did this session was explore dreams. In one favorite writing activity the kids wrote about an imaginary walk through the forest. Along the way we prompted them to write about their encounter with several things, among them a path; a key; a cup; a body of water; a shelter, etc.
Marley (Walking through an Imaginary Forest exercise)
I was walking in a forest, and I saw a huge bear lumber over to a little blackberry bush. Slowly, like magic, the fog turned into a gentle, damp shade of yellow. And that's when a fox appeared. For a moment, he roused the bear, who let out a roar that seemed to make everything freeze. In a low growl, the bear said, "The dark path is the way to Willow Grave. The light path is your destiny. Go." He turned, and I followed the light path.
A little later, I found a silver key about six inches long. I put it in my pocket and continued to walk. I began to wonder if the path would ever end, and just then I discovered a golden cup with a small latch made of rubies. It had a hole just big enough for the key, and I put the key into it. I set the cup and key in a circle of rocks, and instantly the rocks shattered, revealing a small stream that cut through the path. I splashed water on my face, filled the cup, and gratefully drank. Beyond the stream was a much bigger river, flowing silent and swift. Rocks dotted the shore. I flopped down in a patch of long, wavy grass, and soon I was peacefully asleep.
In this activity we learned how to use personification to write about the dream ( or the nightmare) of an oridinary object.
A Lightbulb's Nightmare
My owners, Guy and Girl, moved in and screwed me into the ceiling. That's when it started. There was a switch on the wall, and his name was Flippy.
"Yo Lightbulb!" called Flippy, "Hey, can't you hear?"
I replied, "How do you know my name?"
"Dunno," said Flippy, "Just kind of figured your name was Lightbulb."
Flippy started acting strangely that night.
"I know why you came here," he said. "You came because your family all broke and you want to get away from the past."
"Whoa," I said, "How did you know that?"
Flippy looked at me and said: "I know everything." Then he turned. "And I'm here for you, Lightbulb."
"Noooo!" I screamed.
The kids were invited to write about an imaginary world where the impossible becomes possible.
The Mustache People
The Mustache People live in New York, and all they want to do is stalk you. They'll hide in the back seat of your car, then they'll push you out when you're not looking. They like to eat people, but first they'll follow you through the streets, sometimes for 10 years at a time. If one of the Mustache People follows you, you might wake up to find him standing over your bed, watching you while you sleep.
My picture is of a relaxing paradise. I am not finished yet, though the calm, quiet waves splash on my feet. I am on an island, and the sky is clear except for one cloud. The ground is smooth, silk sand. There are palm trees with hard coconuts that hold milk and sugar – the water inside tastes exotic. Colorful birds rule the sky, and frogs jump up and down all around me. Nearby is a river with fresh water and small fish, and around it are bushes with berries and nuts. I live in a tree house up in the sky with a beautiful view. I cook fish garnished with home-grown herbs, I roast meat in my kitchen, and I designed the tree house I live in with all natural resources. It's fun to hunt, gather, and plant, but best of all I can have many adventures.