Thanks to the McNair Elementary School PTA, staff, and students, I was able to teach writing workshops with students in grades 1-5. Avedis’s piece is just one example of all the fabulous work that McNair students did during my residency.
Each student was asked to “be” an animal and try to capture the animal’s voice in a piece of writing. First, we did a pre-writing exercise to “get into character” and then students used that material to write their pieces. We talked about creating distinctive character traits for our animals and using literary elements in our writing: word choice, voice, point of view, metaphor.
It was thrilling to see every student–even reluctant writers–completing their pieces. Then, I asked students to perform their pieces, using their own voices and emotions to convey the animal’s personality.
Some students blew me away when they used the feedback that they received when sharing their work to make revisions on the spot, excited to improve their pieces. That’s the sign of real writing taking place!
Listen to more of the recordings of students reading their work. I would have loved to have recorded all students at McNair, but I was only there a week and there are hundreds of kids! Thanks to the parents and staff who helped.
Try to guess what animal this student chose to be!
This writing project met several of the Common Core objectives.