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Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to School-Part II

Yesterday I spoke about writing with my son's fifth grade class. I'd never spoken for the elementary grades before and found myself wondering how much they would understand. Silly me! These kids were bright, enthusiastic, and ready to have some writing fun.

I started by proving to all the boys that they'd actually seen and enjoyed a romance movie sometime in their young lives. They were crushed when they learned movies like "Shrek" and "Spiderman" are, at the core, romances. (Oh, the horror!) From there we moved on to the main elements of a good story: a "What if...?" question, GMC, the black moment, and so on. They loved figuring out GMC for characters like Princess Fiona and discussing the black moment in some of their favorite movies. Who knew National Treasure was such a hit?

We ended the discussion by crafting a round-robin story about a police detective who finds a body in his own basement and discovers the victim is his former partner. (Yes...these are ten and eleven year olds! I told you they were bright.) A lively Q & A wrapped up my talk, which lasted a good two hours!

Best of all, my son wasn't the least bit embarrassed that his mom came to talk to his class.

If you've never spoken to an English class before (at any grade level) I highly recommend you give it a try. You'll get some first-hand speaking experience and you just might touch a fledgling writer's soul. The teachers are always excited and eager to help and it's just a fun way to spend a few hours of your time. Why not go for it?

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