I was coaching a group of students in our writer’s workshop recently. I wanted to get them excited about writing about a place, considering the relationships we might have established with it. Clearly, I did not think I’d be getting equally excited as well.
Since many students sometimes claim that they find it difficult to write add details, and to make their writing ‘feel alive’, in this session I wanted students to see how images can help us explore our imagination, and how all images include a vast amount of information for us to utilize.
So, besides sharing the steps that I followed, I also want to share the piece of writing that I wrote as students were writing theirs. I must say that engaging with students throughout the process and participating in, or rather witnessing the development of their ideas made me think of a place that was special to me. As I started looking at the ideas students were generating about the places they had chosen, I realized that they were writing really personal things, allowing themselves to be vulnerable, and realizing the power of language.
I started thinking about how many times we, teachers, take the time to experience the tasks we prepare for our students. I am thinking that maybe if we live the experiences we plan for them, it may be easy to identify how engaging our activities will be, and whether they will be able to fully involve learners.
Part of the learning process for us teachers also includes staying stimulated and remaining learners, as there is nothing more motivational for students that to see their teachers being positively affected by the development of understandings and life behind the inquiry.
These are the steps I followed in the session.
- Make a photo splash: find pictures of the place you want to write about.
- Look at pictures
- A-Z: Get vocabulary
- Write sense impressions
- Write some ideas using as many words as possible
- Map the way in which you’d like your ideas to flow: an outline.
- Research information that you’d like to add, in order to make your text more relevant: what is it worth mentioning: names of streets, historical figures?
- Define audience and purpose- what kind of text am I writing and for whom?
- Consider time: for how long will you write
- Check whether you’re organizing your ideas as you indicated in your outline.
My photo Splash:
Arrive, above, ask, afternoon
Backpack, bubble, blue, blindness
Ceiling, cloud, curiosity
Dark, drops, day (succumb to night), dance, daily, diary,
Esfahan, East (found me)
Find, fortune, fire, form, feet, and figures
Imagination, interest, ignite
Jump, joy, journal,
Laugh, lines, listens,
Night, numb, noise,
People, portrait, photo, phase
Slow, silence, solace, sit down, sunset, shapes
My sense Impressions
If you want to read the piece of writing I wrote on Esfahan,click on the link below:
I will always have my Esfahan.