I had the privilege of working for two whole weeks with the Grade 3 and 4 students and teachers at Ecole Riviere Rouge in Seven Oaks School Division. What a welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic school community!
Together we explored steps in the creative writing process, tried out some activities to keep our creative juices flowing, and even worked at revising our work to take it from good to great.
Remember how it all started in our first week together? We asked ourselves what is was we enjoyed doing and what we dreamed of one day doing or becoming. From there, we brainsparked a fictional character – someone we could easily get to know because he or she was connected in some way to our own interests and dreams…
I don’t have photos of our storyboards (probably because we were so busy working on them to stop to pose for a picture!), but it was amazing to watch as you went from having one fictional character to having a plan for an entire story, start to finish. Some of you kept working on that story, while others were inspired to start something new. Either way, going through these steps together got each of us where we needed to go! 🙂
When I returned in April for Week 2, the focus for the Grade 3s turned to strategies to keep our creativity sparking. I was impressed and inspired by the wealth of ideas that were generated. Whether we were looking at interesting objects with ‘wondering’ minds, imagining storyworlds with our 5 senses, playing charades, or listening to music and picturing a trio of cats playing music at a jazz club, we were practicing creative writing. That might sound funny…until you remember that writing isn’t just about putting pencil to paper – it’s about dreaming, planning, wondering, sharing ideas with others, keeping our minds open to the possibilities around us, and trying new things out!
With the Grade 4s, we plunged into creative revisions and practiced techniques for writing with impact. I have to say ‘way to go’ to you all. You did a great job beginning the creative revision process. In my opinion, revision is one of the most important – and hardest – things an author has to do. But you were willing to look at your own work and reflect on how to make it stronger. That takes maturity, patience, and focus. Keep at it and once again, way to go!
Oh – and because this came up a few times in several classes, here’s a photo of my dog Storm (he’s one of the ‘people’ to whom I dedicated my book “Frostbite Hotel”):
He’s a sweet, gentle, miniature long-haired dachshund (a.k.a. a wiener dog). He says ‘hi!’ (or “woof”, I suppose…)
…and just because this is cute, take a look at this:
Enjoy the rest of the school year, everyone. Work hard, be creative, and keep on helping each other!
Till we meet again,