Updated: Feb 26, 2022
Last Wednesday, I spent the day talking about writing, after they read Feather Brain, and workshopping writing with grade 3/4 kids at Chinook Park School.
I talked about structure and coached them through planning a story beginning, middle and end.
The kids were marvelously imaginative, but it was hard for many of them to work through the full story plan.
Some had trouble understanding generally. Some got it generally but got stuck on certain details. Some understood the assignment but had trouble making their story work.
One girl had a thorough plan that was all telling, no showing. Finally I talked to all the kids about imagining the story like a movie, watching it play out scene by scene.
Another had the wrong character as her main character. It took a while to find the way to explain it so she could understand. She seemed a little offended, but when she came back later with a revised plan she’d solved the problem beautifully.
I think this should have been a 2-week workshop. This is their first introduction to writing fiction this year, and the teachers will use the workshop as a jumping off point, but it feels unfinished to me. I introduced a tough topic without being able to see it through.