As we enter into this last week before Spring Break, I feel like American Pharaoh at the Belmont Stakes! Charging ahead at breakneck speed. Days and weeks (and months and years for our Triple Crown Winner) of hard work and training all coming down to the final lap. And as his trainers felt about their indomitable horse, I feel about our spirited writers.
Proud. Nervous. Excited. Responsible. All at the same time. Will these first grade writers be able to take this complex unit of study and create a graphic narrative that tells a story through pictures and only a few words? It's as if I am a spectator in the stands, and all I can do is cheer and clap and watch as the students apply all that they have learned as they approach the finish line with their finished products!
And I can tell you with tears in my eyes that when a young writer hands me his beautiful six-panel graphic narrative that artfully tell his story of helping the world by picking up trash with his Grandma, I know that we've crossed the finish line together.
Let's go back and deconstruct his work. I know that some who see his pictures will wonder what all of the excitement is about. But there is so, so, so much more writing and thinking behind his beautiful piece...
First, we read a book. In this case, it was Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green, by Eileen Spinelli. This student was inspired to write a story about a time he became aware of trash in his neighborhood...and how he wanted to help change the world.
So, now the writer began the work of composing story panels that would tell his story primarily in pictures, with only speech bubbles or text boxes for word context. I think this was the hardest part of the process. These writers had to decide how to lay out their stories across six story panels. Do you see that he organized his word list using "b", "m", and "e" to identify how he was going to lay out his story? Sort of like organizing paragraphs, right?
Here is his finished product...
And this is just one example! All of our writers are making beautiful stories. And they are all winners; they will all cross the finish line with what they have learned about writing and drawing and storytelling in their hearts.
I feel exactly like my student writer, "stoupendus"!!
Have a great writing week!
#allkidscanwrite (and draw!)