Thanks to the PTA, especially Rachel Schiffenbauer, the fourth-grade teachers, staff, and students for another fun and productive writing residency at Rock Creek Valley Elementary School. We focused on creating character. Each student chose an animal and, through a writing exercise, developed that character’s personality and motivation. We wrote monologues and also worked on how to bring emotion and drama into our reading/performance voices. The students worked to bring voice into their monologues by choosing interesting and specific words and phrases that would fit their characters’ personalities. Here is a sample from each of the three fourth grade classrooms.