In late March, I read to second graders at Greenwood. Their curious minds always delight me and remind me why I write children's books in addition to novels. I always leave schools with a smile on my face.
Then, I explained how to create a story starting with either a plot or a character. We decided our main characters would be a pig and a dog. The students named them Petunia (the pig) and Cookie (the dog). I talked about using the five senses when writing so the reader could really put themselves into the story--to show the story and not just tell it. I also talked about creating conflict to make the story interesting and a bit about pacing (i.e., removing the boring parts). When we talked about conflict, the students came up with some hilarious situations for the animals, and storylines took off in many directions.
I suggested they each write their own ending since they had the "bones" of the story. I was delighted when a boy (toward the end of my talk after we had moved on) raised his hand with yet another suggestion about the pig and dog's dilemma. He was really thinking about his story--and HE was the one in the beginning who told me he didn't like to write! Success.
It was a great day. Thanks to Cecily Cornelius-White and Avery White for inviting me--and for taking me to lunch afterward!
This sounds like a wonderful experience. I think it's so great that you wrote this book, and that you are inspiring children not only to think about what they want to be, but to write. How very rewarding that must be!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jan. It is rewarding. I love it. I really must get back to my novels but I can't stop writing children's books. The kids soak up the process and are delightful. I've decided I'll write both genres. Now, to find more hours in the day...ReplyDelete
Look at all their little hands in the air in the second photo! Awesome.ReplyDelete
Just wish I hadn't worn stripes. What was I thinking?!
Beth, you are making the world a better place. You are inspiring children to dream big. These children will remember you for the rest of their lives.ReplyDelete
I am so impressed at their questions for you. It is obvious they love you and your book.
Aw, Jack. That brings tears to my eyes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I made an impression on them. I know I have other students because they've written to me. Those are my rewards. I'll never have to enter another contest in my life because this is the best prize ever!ReplyDelete
Yes, their questions were so grown up. Thank you for your support!
What a rewarding experience for both you and the children. I did a elementary school poetry reading with Phydella Hogan several years ago. We had a great time as well, and a few days later we received a large envelope full of poems the children had written. It was one of the best days of my life.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us! Hopefully, some of these little tykes will grow up to be writers too.
That's so cool, Russell. I went to a first grade class in Niangua a few months ago because a little girl there, Grace, sent me my first-ever fan letter. After my talk, the entire class sent a book each had written telling me what they wanted to be and often drawing me sitting in a chair talking to them, so I know exactly what you mean--one of the best feelings/days ever!!!Delete
What a wonderful experience for both you and the chlldren.ReplyDelete
It's so rewarding when you make a difference in the life of a child. Keep up the good work.
Reading to children is one of my favorite things to do because it brings back seet memories of my mother and grandmother reading to me.
Thank you, Kaye. I have sweet memories reading to my daughter. That was a special bedtime ritual.Delete
Adorable pictures. I know you and the children had a blast. I used to do that for Scholastic book fairs--I really do miss doing it.ReplyDelete
You should come with me sometime, Ginny. I bet you were a hoot and know the kids loved you!Delete