One of the things I miss the most about teaching 8th grade is the writing. Teaching playwrighting to 8th graders for 4 years was amazing because I got to see such creativity. Well, today, I decided to try some creative writing with my 3rd graders. I gave them one rule: their stories had to be fiction. After about 15 minutes of what I like to call their hypothetical questions ("What if I run out of ideas?" "What if I break my pencil?" "What if I finish writing on one side of the paper?"), they were off and running. When I asked who wanted to share, every single hand shot up. Definitely a far cry from 8th grade. As they read their little stories aloud, I was blown away. One girl wrote about a multiplication sign who was lonely and looking for friends, and then realized that she and the plus sign were more alike than they thought they were. One boy wrote about a trash can who didn't have any friends because he kept shaving off everyone's eyeballs. Another boy wrote about a "humbac" - part human, part bacon who didn't fit in with the humans or the rest of the meat. My moment today was when I was just listening, awestruck, as I realized that these little geniuses could be famous someday. Now don't go stealing their ideas!
Hmm...come to think about it, why did they all write about characters that need friends? Are some visits to the counselor in order?