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!