In some ways, it's harder. I already think I know things about them. They already think they know things about me. Sometimes, like this morning, it would be easier to just let them come in and start writing...to just go with the status quo. When I came into my room, they were already hard at work on the writing autobiography I assigned yesterday.
But today, because of my OLW--CONNECT- I worked a little harder at deepening those connections.
I let them work the first part of the period, but with about 20 minutes left, I asked them to put away their computers and get out their notebooks.
I began with the simple words, "I am a writer. These are my writer's notebooks. And when I first began my blog, it was hard for me to continually come up with ideas to write about. So, I began making lists because it's my favorite way to write. This is the first list I wrote in my notebook."
PEOPLE PLACES THINGS
|the right side is my people, places, and things list|
And I show them my list and how I got started. I relate how I chose people, which sometimes lead me to places or things. My writing scribbles all over my white board. The rows fill as I tell quick little anecdotes about the things I wrote on my list. Then, I ask them to do the same thing.
Most begin writing with a little trepidation. Frequently heard, "But I don't have any weird people and things like you do." They always focus on the two, rather unique people I included on my list. They forget about my college friends, the resort where our cabin is, Chloe, the college I attended...all the normal things I have included.
So, I remind them of the things in their life I know about (this is the easy part).
"What about your friends S and I?" I ask of one student. "They're a little weird. And together, I'll bet you've had a few experiences you could write about. And what about some of the teachers you've had. Any of them have a few quirks that make you laugh?"
Her list begins to fill.
To a young man trying to hide in the back and not fill out his list, "I had you in 6th period English in 7th grade. Are there not a few things you could write about from that class?"
"Hello...get that notebook back out! Think of how crazy that class could be and all the things you all tried to get away with."
He begins scribbling away.
In talking to those two, the entire class is writing furiously in their notebooks. Lists are beginning to take up most of a page! One small lesson. Two small connections. Success.