When my students come to writing we usually begin with a story. We practice reading as writers, reflecting on how the author uses a certain writing technique and how it sounds to the reader.
Next, we write. I mean we, because when the kids begin to write I do as well. I usually only write about 3 minutes before conferencing with individual students about their work, but in that time I get to think about my own life for a few moments and remember. Here are a few of these writings…
St. Patrick’s Day
I was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Carried home from the hospital in a shamrock, it immediately became an important holiday in my family. On my birthday, March 17th, the world wore green. All for me! Or so I thought. Parties included games like “drop the shamrock in a jar” and we ate green cake with green frosting yearly. I always wanted to be Irish..
In kindergarten my birthday is especially vivid in my memory–all because of Abe Galinsky. He pinched me–and I was in green! Ok, so it was only one tiny green leaf on a black ladybug dress. But it should have counted! It was my birthday, after all. I don’t really know if I can forgive him for that.
In a velvety box tied with a ribbon, inside a cardboard box labeled “memories,” under a ping pong table in my parent’s house, lies a cat figurine. It used to be filled with perfume, so when you twist the top of the cat off (it opens like a bottle) it still smells nice–like my Great Grandma Ragna. That’s who it belonged to. She died when I was 7, and my parents let me walk through her house and keep 1 thing to remember her by. I always like this perfume cat she had in the bathroom, so it was an easy choice.
Writing from the point of view of a thing
I am a ring.
I am valuable, a burden, a debt.
I shower with you, I feel every hand shake, I never leave. At least I’m not supposed to. I get thrown when my owners are made. My life on the wearer begins at a wedding, or at a proposal.
I am a pen. I slide along pages as if I control my own destiny, but I move with the writer. I create words that create laughter, tears, and anger. My movements can start revolutions and end wars. I have been around many years. I love my job.