Thursday, September 10, 2015

Visit to Craddock Elementary School • Aurora, Ohio

This week I visited Craddock Elementary School in Aurora, Ohio where second grade students are preparing for a school year full of creative writing. We reviewed what they learned in first grade about "small moments" and how those "small moments" can be turned into BIG stories.

A "small moment" is a part of a bigger experience that can be stretched and described as a full story. It is common for students to be asked to write about their summer vacation. The idea of summer vacation is a BIG idea. A student may think to write about their summer trip to Washington DC. The trip to Washington DC is still a BIG idea. Students in Aurora City Schools are asked to go even "smaller". Maybe on that trip to Washington DC they rode the Metro for the first time or maybe they played catch in the grass under the Washington Monument. By getting "smaller" the student's writing can be better because they can focus on the fine details and write a vivid description of the experience instead a general overview of a bigger event.

I was asked to share how I use "small moments" in my own writing with the second graders. I opened with three stories about experiences I had that sparked story ideas that I wrote in my journals. One of stories was about a three-year-old boy I saw dressed in an astronaut costume when I stayed at a hotel in Washington DC. When I saw this boy I couldn't help but wonder, "Why is this boy wearing an astronaut suit? Is he a REAL astronaut? Is his rocket ship here at the hotel?"

I write my "small moments" in these journals.
After the three "small moment" stories, I shared my experience turning the "small moment" at my dinner table with my messy-faced son into my book BABY BEARDS!. I showed the students all the steps of making the book; writing in my journal, sketching, storyboards, painting, book design, and final book.

I had a great time at Craddock Elementary School! I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my writing experiences and I wish all the students much success this school year!

View more photos by viewing the second grade blog!

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