After students learned some turkey songs (found in this post) and then our MovieTalk (found in this post), students had to write a story during a Timed Write. I intended for them to do a speaking assessment and retell me the story from the MovieTalk, but my plans changed. I began thinking about everything I was thankful for – my own education and being able to educate young people included. I was also grateful to take a group of students to Guatemala this spring, and I began thinking about how little the children’s center had that we visited outside of Antigua. They asked for things like basic necessities and school supplies. They were so excited to receive a lot of bilingual Disney books that one mom acq. So at 5:30 am I made the quick decision to have my students make their Timed Writes into little books to send to that children’s center.
Here are two examples:
If I am honest, this was a fleeting decision, but I there was a lot that I liked about it. I liked that it gave students a real audience for the story they wrote. I only wish I had known I was going to do this when they did they original Timed Write. Most of my students liked that they were going to help children while showing them a little bit about Thanksgiving, and I like that, too. I made sure to take pictures of a few stories to post to my classroom Twitter account (I use PicCollage to put all the pages in one image) so people could see what we’re up to. I also plan to get at least one into the December school newsletter, as well, with a brief article about who/where they are going to.
So what did I not like about this? I edited every single story. I worry it will make them paranoid about their writing in the future. However, I noticed some grammar errors that I need to address (did you see El Pavos? Guess what we’re working on this week? Hint, hint, wink, wink!). I also didn’t give students enough time. I only allowed them one class period (it was a hasty decision, after all) and students clearly needed two periods. I also wish I had been more organized and given them a rubric for the books.
Can’t wait to do this again for the holiday time! 🙂