Have you ever tried something new with your group of students and thought, this could either be a hit or a complete miss? Last week, I wrote about my plans for writing workshop with my students. I had hoped that my students would engage in discussions around the symbolism of the seasons and that this might result in some powerful writing. It did! It worked so well with my 6th graders, I tried it with my 7th graders, too.
Here are two graphic organizers completed by a 6th grader and a 7th grader in their small writing circles. Students worked cooperatively to brainstorm both literal and figurative associations with each season.
Next, I asked students to write statements about each season that seemed to capture their symbolism.
What now? Students have selected a season to write a vignette, poem, or short story about. I’ve asked them to think of the season as more than just the setting for their writing, but almost as a character itself. They will use their graphic organizers and statements to include both literal and figurative associations of the season in their writing. I’ve reminded them to turn to the work of Cynthia Rylant (November) and Langston Hughes (Early Autumn) for guidance if they’re stuck.
Writing workshop today was quiet, in the best way! A few students needed some encouragement, but for the most part, students generated powerful ideas and their hands were flying across the page. In my next post, I’ll share some of their writing!