Friday, January 21, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

Today, my students got to be celebrity writers as part of the publishing party for our personal narratives. I got the idea to interview them from here.

Here is the interview sheet that I created. 

(Teachers, if you want this, I will email you a pdf version of it for free.)

When I planned this lesson, the main goal was for them to began to identify as writers. But, as always, they surprised me. As I reviewed the responses, I realized that I was gobbling up their "advice to young writers on writing." It was so enlightening. This is what I love so much about middle schoolers. Just when you think they aren't listening, they will shock you with their insight. 

"19 Bits of Advice for Writers"
By: Ms. P's 7th Graders

1) ”Just write. Don’t let people tell you that you will never be a writer, you’re too young, or you’re way too undetailed (sic). You can do anything.”

2) ”Just think of something exciting or something that you’re into and just write what you can and remember to write something that makes you want to keep writing.”

3) ”Never give up on writing, and writing won’t give up on you.”

4) ”Just write about anything on your mind. Don’t worry if it is ‘crappy’.”

5) ”Never give in - just write down what comes to mind. Then if you’ve found something you like, go on that.”

6) ”Be an inspiration.”

7) "Always write about something you remember very well.”

8) "When you write, you should put emotion in it because if you are writing about that subject you have a reason you’re writing about it, so put emotion in it.”

9) ”When you have an idea, don’t wait before you write it. Write it down somewhere before you forget all the details.”

10) ”When you like writing, keep writing. It helps you bring out your thoughts.”

11) “Writing helps you please your emotions. Writing helps you bring out your inner feelings.”

12) ”In your life, you may think there’s nothing to write about. All you need to do is think about that little things that matter to you. You are the author. You are the only one the story has to please.”

13) ”You first piece will not be your best. Don’t give up.”

14) ”Write what your heart speaks.”

15) ”Be yourself. Don’t try and be a different person when writing. If you’re a nerd, be a nerd! If you’re shy, be shy! If you’re enthusiastic, be enthusiastic.”

16) ”No matter what people may think, write.”

17) ”Don’t be afraid to write just the truth.”

18) ”I once read in a book to ‘catch fireflies.’ Write down everything you think of, even if it’s stupid. Then making it yours is fun.”

19) ”If you feel it needs to be on paper, then put it there. No matter what anyone thinks.”

Taking notes from these guys,
Ms. P

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