Reading, Writing, Enjoyment !!!

D.E.A.R. : We started today as we always do, with a book or something to read. Some of those in attendance refuse to get a book to read, and they are well aware that they will suffer in the long run for that, and possibly cause others to suffer along with them. Reading is not a luxury. It’s a requirement for memebrship in this western civilized culture we call the great United States of America.

Warm Up : After reading ourselves back into the school routine, we all got out our notebooks (I got to this computer) and began listing as requested: Make lists of something(s) you can think of from the winter break: family members, presents you got, places you went, feelings you felt.”

  • Friends & Family members – my lovely wife Rachel, my two kids Sophia and Adah, mother Betsy, father Murray, brother Eric Sis-in-law Melissa, and NEW nephew Aiden (yes, he shares his name with our Adah – how cool is that!?), brother darrin, uncle Joe, Cousin Lacey (her B-day), my dog Billie, the stray cats outside – Morgan (my favorite), Hermioni, Guenivere, and the mother cat (she’s mean), Cousins Sy & Ina
  • Neighbors – little Franklin, Rich and Michaela, Pedro, the people running a business out fo the house they are renting directly across the street from us (I have had it up to here with that). the boy down the street in the house on the corner throwing rocks at the sign right beside
  • Presents you got – I got hmmm . . . I can’t remember what I got. I had a great holiday though. I “got” to spend some quality time with my family and that was awesome!!
  • Places you went – I took a ride with the kids on the light rail. It was pretty cool. We rode the entire length to the transportation center and then walked into downtown – or do they call it uptown ’round here. We ate at a little place called Room 112 – a japanese/thai/chinese kind of place. Not sure for sure. Sophia kept saying happy new year to everyone, and I mean everyone. drove down to Waxhaw for a bit. Went to Tractor Land (short bit about that later maybe.
  • Feelings you felt – happy to be with my family, sad not to be able to see my family in So Fl. Excited about the light rail ride. Interested to see what will be witht he cats. Concerned about my neighbors. Frustrated with them too (some).

Guided Discovery : After that we had a talk (or rather I had a listen). I posed the following questions to the class and the various responses came from the class ina  very organic way:

  • What’s an Idea Bank?
    • where you store ideas
    • you can put things in it
  • How do I use an Idea Bank?
    • you can take things out of them and use them as needed
  • What is reflective writing?
    • remind us of what we did
    • looking back at our writing – no, that is called reviewing revising
    • reflective writing is writing in which we look back at events that took place with certain people in places at times.
    • a way to deal with feelings and sor tthrough them
  • How does one recall an event or  a series of events?
    • most important to least important – this caused some talk -do we really? or is an event about being in order?
    • We may remember things relative to how important they are, but reflective writing in sequence is about chronological occurrence – how things happened in time
    • in order from first to last
  • Why are details important in writing?
    • they make it interesting
    • add details
    • not boring
  • What’s the coolest part about writing?
    • create something original
    • tweak it up
    • change what happened
    • as a writer you have what I like to call a license to lie.
    • you can make things up

The Assignment : This is where it gets interesting. Now, consider this and be open to the discussion that came from it. What do I expect?

  • Think about your winter break. Consider the people places and things that were a part of it.
  • Now, write to recall your winter break with as much detail as possible.

Understanding the Assignment : We took the PROMPT apart to understand what I was actually asking you. In light of your Warm Up and the Questiosn we used to guide us to this point, think logically. What are you being asked to do?

  • Think about your winter break. Consider the people places and things that were a part of it.
    • We DID THIS PART . . . This is the Idea Bank that we did as the warm up – “Make a list of something(s) you can think of from the break.”
  • Now, write to recall your winter break with as much detail as possible.
    • You are being asked to write a piece of reflective writing based in the truth of what happened to you/for you/around you over the winter break.

Here’s my suggestion : Using your idea bank, write down everything you remember from Winter Break. Start with the truth. And then go from there. Here are a couple of scenarios in which students have found they could accomplish this assignment.

  • Scenario #1: Write down everything you remember from break in whatever order you remember it. The first thing you think of may be the most exciting thing. For instance, you might write this down, “Christmas Day I woke up and went straight to the tree to start openning gifts.” If this is the first thing that comes to mind, then WRITE IT DOWN NOW. Then think about the next thing you remember . . . maybe you recall this, “I was so happy to be on my way to the bus to start break.” WRITE IT DOWN. Keep doing this until you feel like you wrote everything down that you could remember. After you have them all down, you NUMBER them in the order in which they actually occurred. Put the events in order to create your first real draft, and then add details and embellish as you so desire.
  • Scenario #2 : Make a list of everything you remember in the order things actually happened in. You may find that the event syou put down are slightly out of order because memory can be a bit fuzzy that way. That’s ok. Just put them in order when you create your first real draft, then add details and embellish as you so desire.
  • Scenario #3 : Create a timeline. Label up the timeline with everything that occurred. Use the timeline as a place to “web” people names, place names and feeligns around the events on the timeline. Agian you may find that your timeline actually has some things out of order, but that’s ok as memory can be fuzzy. Just put them in order when you create your first real draft, then add details and embellish as you so desire.

Still having trouble getting started? Try this. Get out a sheet of paper and a pen or oencil to write with. Set the paper and pen/pencil down in front of you. When you read what I want you to do, DO NOT QUESTION IT. Just do it. Do it quickly and without thinking about it. Now, clear your head. Be still. Breathe in and out a few times to relax. Now. Here it comes . . . . . .

Write down the first thing you remember about winter break. Do it. Do it now. Write it down quickly and without thought. Don’t wait for the next thoguht, write it down. WRITE DOWN THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER ABOUT WINTER BREAK. Then, put the pen/pencil down.

Read what you wrote down. Is it the first thing that actually happened? For most people, it isn’t. Because that’s how memory works. Usually what’s most impressive will come up first..

Now, SKIP a line on the sheet of paper, and do what you are asked next.

Write down the next thing you remember about the winter break EVEN IF IT ISN’T THE NEXT THING. DO IT NOW. Write it down now and quickly.

Continue doing this until you have written down all that you can remember no matter how out of order it is.

THEN, number them all.

Then rewrite the whole thing in order.

WALLAH! You have it. Now you can twist tweak and change it up as you so desire.

SO, now, go write. Give me your version of what your break was like. The rules are simple. What you turn in must be in order from beginning to end. You must begin with the truth, and you must retain the truth, but you don’t have to stick to the truth. You have license to lie.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email