Monday, February 16, 2009

Budding Authors

I've spent the majority the day grading student writing. The students have been working on their stories for weeks. They created characters, put those characters into sticky situations, plotted out story mountains with escalating problems, drafted stories and worked all of their ideas into a 'believable world' ... and finally we had the chance to celebrate all of this hard work at school on Friday. Their stories are about sibling rivalry, teen crushes, kids with secret superpowers, a robot who misses his parents, kids who want to fit in, adults who want to escape; these fourth graders have the greatest imaginations! You could hear a pin drop as the students circulated the room to read each others' stories on Friday morning. A true testament to their successes as budding authors!

It is a daunting task, reading so many stories, but I am so impressed! Here are a few snippets:

S sets up The Brother Chronicles with this lead:

Finally, my mom calls me and my brother to dinner. We're eating and as usual my brother always works at trying to make my mom think he's better than me. He says, "your food is way awesome, mom." With her familiar happy look she replies "well thank you, now Jon eat up that spinach." I try to come up with a reply to top his so I can get out of eating spinach. It's hard to come up with a compliment when you're gagging on wet green leaves but I have to top my brother. I say, "mom it is really gogggogg good," as I gag on the leaves. Houdini of course comes back with a "this is triple times better than ever." I can tell where this is headed so I get up and leave the room. He wins again anyway because now Mom is upset with me for not finishing my spinach. For once, I want to be as good as he pretends to be. I don't see why he gets so happy over bothering me! "What's up with that?"

W, who is great at using intentional humor, writes:

"Mom, I'm figuring out how to get super powers!" "Stop trying I'll buy you some later!" "You can't buy superpowers mom!" "Sure you can! They're half off at Wallgreens. Now let's go!"

N describes her car accident scene this way:

"Press the brake" yelled Michella as she was panicking. "Well it looks like she can't even tell which petal it is" said Cassie as she pulled one hand from her face. As soon as she made up her mind, she pressed one of the petals and then the car stopped. All of the girls just sat there. Silence. "We're going to get in so much trouble" said Cassie as she pulled her other hand away from her face.

J, a struggling writer, slows down his story enough to show us this:

In the elevator they heard a beautiful voice coming from the ballroom. When the producer got out of the elevator they followed the voice until they got to the ballroom where they found where the voice was coming from. It was Zach and Cody's mom Kari!

J describes her character's anxiety like this:

"Oh my gosh the cooking project! I totally forgot it." Jessi move to the front of the class slowly as a robot. Am so nervous my mind went blank. All I could think was sing "La La La La La!" .... Oh I thought in my head Why didn't I do my project "says Jessica." Even while the teacher was calling kids up so they could explain their homework and turn in homework. Can you please bring your homework says Mrs. Mcan in a really bad mood. Will will an an an amm "Where is it" says Mrs Mcan. "I left it at home" says Jessica. The teacher says "Well I gave you the easyest homework of this year." The whole classmates laughed, even the teacher.

I love the chance to take in stories like these. They help me realize that even while we have work to do, these kids are learning - they are writing, they are creating, and they are having fun with it!

No comments: