Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Great American Teach-In

I had the honor of speaking at an elementary school today for the Great American Teach-In on what it’s like to be a writer. The two half-hour sessions, one for a third grade class and one for fifth grade, taught me as much as the information I imparted.

I focused on perseverance, because it’s necessary no matter what they choose to do in life. My motto was, embrace it even when it sucks because that’s the only way to learn. They enjoyed my use of the word ‘suck.’ I found out later that the teachers are trying to ban it from their vocabulary. Oops – go Laura!

We also worked with a story prompt. It had a monster in it, naturally. The kids had a good time with it. I tapped into a rich imaginative vein with the fifth graders. Not so much with the third graders. I would have thought it to be the other way around. Here is the story prompt. What would your next sentence be?

A little girl in a red sweater and a monster walked down the dirt road. The monster started to sneeze but he didn’t have a tissue.