|head of the class (for a brief time)|
But I had prepared for my session with the kids last Thursday. I'd taken notes to bulletpoint the things I wanted to say, readied fun little notebooks and pencils to distribute (gifts are always exciting), and I took my time, kept it casual. (I wore my school t-shirt, too, which I thought a nice touch.)
It was great fun!
I told the second grade class (including my older daughter):
There are all kinds of ways to write, and anyone can do it! You can journal, write letters or poems (which is also called poetry) or lists, and you can make up stories or tell true stuff, too.I took props, showed them a fiction chapter book (who loves Junie B. Jones?), a non-fiction book of facts (about Justin Bieber, because he is all the rage among the youngsters), and a volume of Shel Silverstein's poetry (classic! an absolute favorite of mine when I was their age).
I taught them how to write haiku poetry. The 5-7-5 syllable rule was something they really got into.
Missus [surname] isWe talked about how ideas can come from anywhere: People-watching, pictures, music, brainstorming, etc. They liked it when we closely studied their teacher's necklace, and came up with stories for the pearl. For instance, that the teacher is a spy, and when she has to report her findings she speaks into the bead. How great is that?!
the coolest teacher ever.
We really love her.
I gave them a list of things to remember:
Poetry can rhyme but does not have to.We talked a little about the mechanics of writing:
Fiction means not true, like make-believe.
Non-fiction means true and real.
A story or piece of writing has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
A story also has a plot, which means something happens in the story, and it can be funny or scary or sad or full of action, or whatever you want it to be. If you are the writer, you get to decide!
You get to be creative and use your imagination!
I talked about how neat it is to spend some time with writing and then pass it on, so that another person can read and understand and feel your thoughts and ideas.Whenever you write and whatever you write, check your spelling and sentences. Are your capital and lower-case letters correct? What should your punctuation look like? Make sure you write clearly, too, so people can read your words.
We spent about thirty-five minutes together. It went quickly. Before I left I gave them ideas for writing to try at home (using those new notebooks). They could write their own haiku, start a private journal, people-watch and take notes, write a letter to someone out of town (and get Mom or Dad's help sending it), or write a fictional story about their favorite animal.
My first "speaking engagement" couldn't have gone better. I was so pleased with their attention and enthusiasm. As it turned out, the things I talked about were supportive of things they've learned in class (though haiku was new, and that was cool), and I was so excited to have encouraged them, even just a little.
I think, too, that I may soon have chance to speak to a group of women, teachers, who are interested in writing and reading, and that makes me giddy! I'm a nerd for this stuff, and to be able to share it with others is awesomely awesome.
Thanks to all of you for your ideas and support. And thanks to my mom, who went along for moral support, and acted as photographer, too. :)