Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Writing Narratives at Bowers School


I'm back at Bowers!  Yay!  Bowers Elementary School in Manchester, CT is this really wonderful school that had me come in for four days last year to talk about building characters.  I was able to spend time with each and every classroom and really enjoyed the teachers and students.  It was a wonderful school visit.  And - lucky me - they invited me back this year for another four days!

This time I am talking about writing narratives.  Yesterday was presentation day.  I did one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I work really hard on building my presentations.  I try to pack a lot of good info in there, but I also want the students to participate.  It's less like a lecture and more like a big group workshop.  (Above) I put some games in the presentation too.  Here, I'm asking for volunteers to join me on stage.

I also did some classroom workshops with the first graders.  For the younger students, I wanted them to start thinking about moments in their lives that they associated with big emotions, because a strong emotion is usually linked to something that would make a good personal narrative story.

Then we looked at one of Mo Willem's Elephant & Piggie books, because the way Mr. Willems draws emotions is SO PERFECT!  He's a master of it.  We looked at pictures and I got the kids focused on the shape of the eyebrows and the mouth, and if the chin was tilted up or down.  We talked about how we knew what the characters were feeling even if they weren't saying anything because of their expressions.

Then I lead them through an exercise where made an emotion reference sheet.  (Because when the little ones write stories, they draw them too.)  Now, when the time comes for them to work on stories and draw themselves, they can look back on how they drew different emotions.


We did happy, sad, angry, surprised, confused, and proud.  And they did such a GOOD JOB!  I could have shown you fifty of these - they were so fun!

I'm back at Bowers today, doing more emotions and working with the third graders on creating endings for their stories.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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