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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Idea Brainstorming with Budding Young Authors!

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about a presentation I made to a group of talented Young Authors and Illustrators, ranging in age from 1st grade to 8th grade.

Today, I got to do some hands-on work with a group of 20 first and second graders. What enthusiastic learners they were! We did an idea-brainstorming session. I had them close their eyes and put their heads down on their desks (asking them to promise not to fall asleep! :-)) while I went through a series of topics ... favorite foods, icky foods, travels, people, pets, buildings, heroics, sports, holidays, buildings. I want to them to hang on to one personal memory that 'jumped' into their mind as I read through the list of topics.

When they opened their eyes, they had to quickly write down the one memory that stuck in their mind. Then, we did a free-write about that memory. It could be all true; or, it could be truth sprinkled with fiction. It didn't have to be perfect ... that's what editing is for. I just wanted them to write.

And, ohhh, the ideas they had! As they each shared what they had written, we picked out the main character (and even secondary characters!), plot twists, themes, setting, and descriptive words.

But, truly ... I'm not sure they need my help. See the illustrations here? They are from my son's Young Authors' book submission, "The Case of the Missing Hitch".

My son is into trucks, trailers, the hitches that connect the two together, and ... dogs! His story combines those loves within a mystery format. The story is adorable, and the illustrations put my attempts to be artistic to shame! In the second picture, the dog is sitting on his dog bed in the trailer with the missing hitch (note the red item to the left of the dog ... I love that the trailer has a dishwasher!).

The classes of 2020 and 2021 hold the promise of some talented writers. I'm looking forward to reading their published words some day!

17 comments:

Kelly said...

What a great writing exercise for the kids! I like the closing eyes and pick the most vivid memory!
Your son's illustrations are awesome!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Don't you love it when kids get excited about writing! We bought our daughter a laptop for Christmas. She is writing a novel and wanted me to type it. HUH? My husband didn't want to spend the money when she could use the family computer to write, but he caved in the end. She is not allowed to use it on the internet, but she can write to her hearts desire.

Suzanne Casamento said...

OMG! That is SO cute!!! Your son's illustrations are adorable. He puts me to shame too!

So cool that you got to work with the kids like that. Yay you! :)

Amy Tate said...

That sounds like fun! I wish I could have been in that classroom!

Sarah Laurence said...

Good for you! I love how kids visualize their ideas. I volunteered weekly in my kids classroom through elementary school too.

lotusgirl said...

I love reading kids stories. They are so creative and free. They come up with the wildest things.

CC said...

I wish you could do some work with my son! He loooooooves to create a book full of pages, make a title page, and write out a long first page/beginning of the story. And then he stops. He never finishes the story. He never uses up all that paper he stapled together. It makes me so sad :(

Rebecca Ramsey said...

So cool. Sounds like fun!

LadyFi said...

What great fun - for you and them!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Those kids are very lucky to have you inspiring them! And your son with a dishwasher in the trailer is the greatest! What an imagination! Woo-hoo.
Cheers,
jj

Short Poems said...

Great ideas, that sounds like having fun :)
Lovely blog!

Beth Kephart said...

You have more than found your calling.

Susan Fields said...

Sounds like a lot of fun - for you and the kids! How wonderful that you're teaching kids about writing, I would have absolutely LOVED that as a kid.

Danyelle said...

This sounds like an awesome exercise! I'm going to have to try this on my kidlets. Thanks for sharing! (I love pairing words and pictures. :D)

Hilary said...

Kids are so incredibly creative when given a bit of direction. They surprise themselves with what they can do. Good on you to help them with that.

Barrie said...

That sounds like a wonderful school visit!

prashant said...

Your son's illustrations are awesome!
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