The girls in both my Thursday and Friday classes were wonderful students and made the initial session of Inkreadable Kids a joy to teach. The ones who were writers already, like my Friday student took the idea of the hook and ran with it. And even the ones who were less familiar didn’t ask many questions. “We’ve got it.” ruled the lessons from beginning to the rising action, the climax, and beyond. It was a great first session and kids are nothing if not willing to listen to ideas. Remember the fourth student who was a no-show to our first class? She ended up coming to our rising action class. She’d missed the first because she’d been ill. As I lead them through the concepts, I saw that the kids were starting to form connections. Our newest edition fit right in and picked up the story in the middle very easily.
I also tried something different for this go round. As they wrote, they asked me to read a story that I had checked out of the library. I originally intended to read the story and have them identify the parts. But they were so adamant that they wanted to get writing, that I just read it. Leaving the climax for the following week. Their own writing did not suffer in the least. In fact, it seemed that they became inspired to write faster and that the ideas flowed naturally. That class was all about the rising action of a story. The events that get the reader to the main event. I talked about the definition of rising action and what it does, the theme, aka the deeper meaning to a story, got more detailed about the plot of a story and introduced the idea of pacing.
Like any good teacher, and I’ve known plenty, I decided to teach the third student the beginning of the story after the class ended. In my one on one with her, I was surprised to see the same traits that I had growing up. She’s super smart, very funny, and very talented. And she’s got a rather dark sense of the absurd. She is writing a story about a humble musician who takes three risks to go to a masquerade ball. It’s turning into quite an adventure and has subterfuge in it. It’s very exciting.
Remember last week’s “Hook, Line, and Stuck”? Well, it was a fluke apparently. My nine year-old thought faster than she wrote. So being the super supportive person that I am, I offered to write for her. I assure you the ideas were all her own. I was just her personal dictation device, with the added benefit that I know how to spell. She sent me to Haiti on a ship with two sets of parents, two bffs (don’t worry this abbreviation will get into the OED soon enough I am sure), and one cheerful captain, aka Emma the sidekick’s grandpa. Then she sent the protagonist’s Dad to work, the other parents to a hotel to get settled, and our dynamic duo to explore the island with Gramps.