Part of the Brave Writer lifestyle is weekly freewriting on a variety of topics. Sometimes we use prompts and other times the kids have their own ideas. After eight weeks (or whenever I bother to remember) the kids all choose one of their freewrites to revise through the writing process. Sparkles spent last week revising a bit of freewriting about an embarrassing moment. She took a six sentence freewrite and revised it into a short story.
We take a week to go through the revision method. Sparkles spent the first day expanding her original piece by freewriting. Then she writes her first draft. The next day she reads it aloud and makes changes to repeated words and phrases. She works to refine sentences and paragraphs. By the middle of the week she types her paper and then prints it triple spaced. I spend some time reading and marking her paper with questions. No red ink (she prefers I use pink) and no corrections. I just ask questions about each sentence and give praise for fun or creating word choices. We’ll then discuss my questions and suggestions. At this point I give the kids freedom to incorporate my suggestions into their paper. The point is for them to develop their own writing voice and feel free to express themselves without judgement. The very last part of the revision process is checking over grammar and spelling.
The Embarrassing Moment
Jesse and I are walking around the block when a silver van pulls up to Abby’s house. As we walk past, Abby comes out through the garage leading Teddy, their dog, and shouts ‘’ Hey Katie!’’ I turn toward the field, the one near Abby’s house, and begin walking slowly to my friend. Plip, plop, plip, plop go my feet. A scene gradually forms through my mind. A huntress, a wolf, and an elk, come into my head. Teddy forms into the wolf and Abby transforms into the hunter. The unfortunate elk steps through me into the scene. The wolf growls softly as he begins to stalk the hunter. The plipping and plopping of my feet turns to the wolf’s pad-padding in my head.
The huntress is wearing a deerskin shirt and skirt with a rabbit hide belt, which has a little pouch at the end to carry seeds and berries. Her hair is a silky blond with a small deerskin ribbon. The wolf is pure black and really smooth, its eyes are a golden yellow with hints of blue. The elk is a big, brown-tan color that sparkles in the light, its horns are large and strong, and its eyes reflect the sunlight. The huntress is aware of the wolf stalking nearby because she can hear the pad-padding of his paws. The wolf waits until the Huntress notices the elk aiming her bow and releasing her arrow. The elk staggers and she shoots again hitting her target. The huntress gives a cry of delight. It falls back with a cry of pain that breaks my heart and the smell of fresh-kill wafts the wolf’s nose as the elk staggers and dies. The wolf growls under his breath.
The wolf lunges and the huntress turns and grabs another arrow. However, I don’t hear or see them anymore. Abby is yelling,” You are daydreaming again Katie!” As I get blasted out of my adventure the huntress becomes Abby again, and the wolf becomes Teddy, and I am just me. Realizing that I slap my face for being stupid, completely and utterly, EMBARRASSED!
Sparkles also spent last week finishing up her final bits of poetry exploration.
Trees, trees, creatures in the trees, climbing and flying, meeting and greeting, walking and talking, in the trees in the trees, they’re flying with bees, squawking and talking, in the trees in the trees
Puddles of color splash at my face, dreaming of colors galore, they dance and swirl, fly and twirl of purple and green and blue. I love all colors, do you, do you?
‘’Little cat, little cat, you sit all alone, I ask you I ask you, what makes it so?’’ Little cat, little cat, stares in the trees, and answers, and answers and answers to me’’ Colors, colors they dance on my face, making me proud, making me race.’’
Flowers of Color, spiraling with blue, white like a star, shining in the dark, petals falling in waterfalls. I found all the colors, can you, can you?
Leaves are blowing,
James is mowing,
I am writing,
it’s not that exiting.
Curriculum Review Poem
This book is great, this book was fun,
but now, but now this book is done.
It taught me, I learned
from first to the last
poetry is a blast.
The book is done
the words are free.
Let’s do it again.
The fish bites, (inspiring words)
my net is full, (a mind full of words)
I set it free again (I write)
The writer makes the poem what it is and shares the joy of writing with others. The poem is nothing without the writer; just a blank meaningless thing. The writer brings mood and love into the poem giving life to dead words. The reason I like to write poems is because it gives me a way to weave words. If there were no poems, no writing, I don’t know what I would do.
May the ink be with you!