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Archive for September 18th, 2012

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

This summer I participated in the Teachers Write virtual writing camp made possible by author Kate Messner. She had many guest authors teaching and posting writing prompts. From one of the posts, I learned about the young adult character generator. Earlier this year, I introduced this tool to my students. They loved it, and much writing has been inspired by it.

Using kidblogs, my students are working on stories that develop their characters. I am pleased with how motivating this activity has been. One of my students, Matthew, was a reluctant second grade writer, usually satisfied with a few sentences. When asked to elaborate or incorporate figurative language, he would say, “I like it the way it is.”

Now a third grader, Matthew’s writing has taken off in the first few weeks of school. He wrote his whole story in his journal, posted it on kidblogs, pasted it onto paper, drew illustrations, and painted a cover for his book. I don’t know if a summer’s worth a maturity or the young adult character generator was the impetus, but this year Matthew is a writer.

Chapter 1 The Curse
It was a normal Tuesday morning at Denver Catholic High, or was it? Aiden was walking to gym, twitching as usual. Then out of nowhere, it started getting dark, really dark. Then, a giant ghost came out of the dark and said, “Da school curse is a spreading.”

Suddenly, Aiden’s friends came outside as zombies! “What happened?” said Aiden’s still human friend, Jenna.
“I… I don’t know,” said Aiden, frozen. for once in his life. He’s feeling a feeling he has never felt before, fear. He was so afraid, he couldn’t move. He could barely speak and refused to look away from the ghost or even blink.

Chapter 2 The Adventure

“Da only way to stop it is to get da gem of legend,” The ghost said in a country voice.
“What gem?” asked Aiden.

“Here, take da map.”said the ghost.

Aiden read the map and said, “Jenna, we’re going to the beach.”

“OK,” said Jenna.

“I’ll drive,” said the ghost.

“What?” said Jenna and Aiden.

They headed to the beach. As Aiden got out of the car, he said, “Hey, I’m not twitching!” He was happy, but then the ghost pushed them in a cave. They put on headlamps and started walking.

“OK,” said Aiden nervously. His head suddenly jerked to his shoulder, twitching again. ”We, uh, go that way?”

They stopped at a pool of…lava! Only a few rocks to jump on.

“Well, let’s get moving,” said Aiden.

They hopped across, rock to rock. Finally, they got to the other side. They walked until they stopped at the end of the cave.

“Look!” shouted Aiden. The gem was standing on top of a cone-shaped rock structure at the end of the cave.

“It’s beautiful!” cried Jenna, leaning back. The gem was a glowing baby blue color in the shape of a diamond.

Swiftly, Aiden grabbed the gem, “Got it!” He held the gem over his head in triumph. Then he heard a loud caw caw!

Aiden looked up and saw a blue-gray falcon swoop in toward him. Before he could draw the gem out of the bird’s reach, the bird quickly grabbed the gem with its talons.

“There goes all our hard work,” said Aiden. Of course, he was right. They had worked so hard.

They went after the bird. They hopped across the rocks. Aiden found a light, sharp stick and threw it at the bird, but before the stick could hit it, the falcon flew down and accidentally dropped the gem.

“Thanks,” said Jenna.

Chapter 3: Lifting the Curse

“Well, let’s get going!” said Aiden. ”It’s been a great day. I stopped twitching, we got the gem, we lost the gem and got it back. Now, we can lift the curse!”

So, they were off. They went back to school.

Chapter 4: Curse Gone

Aiden and Jenna lifted the curse by saying, “I here-by lift the curse of the Hex, and I shall face anything next! I will not say ‘no’ or ‘I’m afraid’ I’ll face anything, alive or slayed!”

But before the magic could work, a half moth half cat flew toward the gem. Aiden’s allergic to cats and hates moths.

“No!” Aiden yelled, then kicked the creature hard. Whack! The creature fainted in pain.

The curse was lifted! They had done it! Aiden said in triumph, “We did it, guys!”

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