Whatever your views are about the Common Core, I have to say there is definitely a lot of focus on writing! My daughter’s first grade class had Writers Workshop and even had a special event for parents to hear their opinion pieces. (I learned A LOT about why Minecraft is awesome and how beautiful cardinals are.)
This focus sparked some questions from a pal of mine.
“Miss Lauri, can kids write books?”
“Anyone can write a book.”
“Yeah, but can 7-year-olds write books?”
|My illustrations when I was a kid are|
not as good as Josie's!
“I happen to know some very cool kids who write. Like Erik Weibel, who is 13 now, but used to be 9 when he started blogging and well, I’m sure he was 7 before then. His sister Josie is an illustrator and his friend Felicia wrote a book, or well her pets did.
“We had an author visit the school which was so cool!”
“Yeah, that was totally cool. Erik and Felicia interview real authors in videos at The Write Chat. Sometimes they are ridiculously silly. Isn’t that so cool??”
“So cool, but how do I become a writer?”
“Miss Lauri, I mean really.”
“First, you need an idea. There is a cool Kids are Writers Summer Camp which will have daily prompts. Prompts are like little idea starters.”
“I’ve got a million ideas!”
“Okay, okay, just start with one. Then figure out what happens. My friend Carrie has a worksheet to help you figure out what happens. She calls it her Plot Connector. It’s really easy to fill it in with ideas.”
“Let me read it. The dog wants more than anything to see his friend Chipper the chipmunk but his owner won’t let him out. So he tries to sneak out, break the door, and bark really loud, but it doesn’t work. Then…he says please and the owner lets him out! Oh, this is quite good.”
“I know. Thank you. It was pretty easy.”
“Would you like to read this story again and again?”
“Well, I dunno. I already kind of know what happens.”
“Hmm. Well, then this is called a first draft. I have some ideas to help you edit. Would you like to hear them?”
“Oh yes, and give me a huge stack of paper please. And sharpen this pencil. And are there any goldfish to eat?”
“Yes, yes, of course. *scurries around house for a few minutes* Okay, the first tip is to find the right word and be specific. So instead of dog, you might say Woofers the dog. Or Woofers the Great Dane. Or Tiny the Great Dane.”
“No, no, no. His name is Charming the Chihuahua!”
“Oh, yes that’s very good. Chihuahuas are always funny. That brings me to the next tip. When you want to think of something really good, write down seven ideas. By the time you get to the seventh it will be the best one. Do you know why I picked seven?”
“Because I’m seven!!”
“No, because it’s my lucky number. Now, go practice those tips until that Chihuahua really comes to life.”
“Okay, Miss Lauri. Can I bring my goldfish?”
“Yep, just get out of here, I’ve got a million ideas I need to write down.”
Happy Summer and Happy Writing everyone!