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Archive for February 1st, 2015

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Don’t miss the Google Doodle today for Langston Hughes.

I am a believer in blogging for kids. My students have been blogging all year. I require three posts a week, “It’s Monday, What are you reading?”, Slice of Life, and Poetry Friday. Since Christmas break one of my 4th grade boys has been writing a story. This has been beyond the three required posts, so I was giving him bonus points. I’ve asked him about it a few times because I wasn’t understanding what was going on. He vaguely answered my questions. I did realize he was writing about a game, but I figured he was writing, and he was using creative language. I did not find the posts at all violent until this last one.

Another boy student was reading over the shoulder of a first grader new to my gifted group. He exclaimed, “This story is not appropriate! It is about a scary game!” So I Googled the game “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” Sure enough, the rating is over 14. My student is not yet 10. What should I do?

I talked to the student and asked him to take down the story. I told him that he was a very good writer, but I wanted to read a story that he had made up on his own. He actually started writing a fiction story in writing workshop, so I encouraged him to post it.

Here is a portion of one of the Freddy stories:

I heard the phone ring. “Hey, you’re doing great” the phone said. “Thanks! I’m working hard.” I said back. “I nearly had five heart attacks, survived one night, plus I’ve had 3 positive heart attacks and 6 seizures!” “Well, you must be having a rough time.” The phone said disappointingly. “You have 4 more nights, including this one.” “Let me work, I must finish this.” I said, angrily. The phone hung up. “Good.” I said to myself. Suddenly, I heard a laugh. It was deep, like a bullfrog’s voice. I closed all the doors. I didn’t care. I checked on the lights. A bear was there, and I think he’s called Freddy.

Looking at this piece from a teacher’s perspective, the writing is good. Dialogue is strong. Punctuation is all in the right place. But my other student had a point; It was a violent game that would end in the death of the player. And these story posts would encourage other young kids to want to play it.

What would Ralph Fletcher do? I gave my young boy writers his book Guy Write which encourages boys to write about things they are interested in. After reading Ralph’s book, I let up on the rule of no violence or no body functions (like farts.) But this one slammed me in the face. When other students feel that it shouldn’t be allowed, I had to react. And the boy writer was compliant. He did not seem at all upset, in fact. Could it be he felt he was getting away with something he shouldn’t have?

What would Ralph Fletcher do? What would you do?

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