Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Talking to Third Graders About Writing a Story

 On Wednesday, I've been invited to speak to great-grandson's third grade class about being a writer and how to write a story.

Over the years, I've spoken to many school groups. One of my granddaughters had me come to every class she was in from first grade through the eighth. Because all the kids were the same, I had to come up with something new to present each year.

Several times I've gone to a school and spoken to every single class in one day, or given a presentation in the auditorium or library to two or three grades at a time.

And yes, I've spoken to high school classes several times, not always an English class either--once I was invited to a computer class to tell how I used a computer to write and promote.

The photos of my great-grandson are a bit old. He used to be enamored of firemen and firetrucks, and of course there was the Lego phase, then he moved onto pilots and flying. Now he's been racing soap box derby cars and playing basketball.

What I've planned is to show them a few of my books so they know I'm a "real" author even though I'm a great-grandma and ancient. Then I'm going to tell them how to write a story--and together we'll come up with some ideas for a story. I'm looking forward to it because kids have such great imaginations.

Of course while I'm off on this trip, I won't be doing any writing, I plan to do a lot of catch-up visiting. I haven't seen my eldest daughter since January, and one granddaughter and her two kids since Septembers and my grandson and his family since sometime in early summer.

I think every author needs to take some time off for a renewal of the spirit. What do you do that keeps you going?

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Coming in March, Murder in the Worst Degree, #10 in the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series.


Jean Henry Mead said...

Teaching children writing skills is a lot of fun. I taught in the Poetry in the Schools Program but focused more on writing skills than poetry. Encouraging their creativity is so important.

Gloria Alden said...

Wow, Marilyn! I taught third grade for 20 years - I came to teaching later in life. It's a fantastic age and I still miss them, but not all the work. I not only read two or three books to them everyday - chapter books, so a chapter a day - but I had them writing, writing, writing. They wrote every day in their jourals; Dear Mrs. Alden, and I hauled those notebooks home to respond to them. They wrote reports, poetry, plays, letters and short stories. Because I've saved everything, I have an incredible amount of clutter I can't bare to part with.

In fact, I did a year long writing adventure with them starting with an old suitcase I brought in saying I'd found it on my back steps. From October through May, they wrote to a fictitious character named Alice Van Brocken, who was traveling around the country on the trail of two jewel thieves. She sent them letters telling them about the narrow escapes she'd had (Thanks to friends and family all over the country who forwarded these letters) and they wrote back to her encouraging her, warning her to be careful and telling her what was going on in school and their lives. They believed in Alice because the letters came postmarked from different places unopened. They believed in Alice even more when she showed up to visit before the end of the school year. ( my sister) I saved those letters and wrote a middle-grade book with her letters and the students called THE SHERLOCK HOLMES DETECTIVE CLUB. If you would like a copy of it, please contact me and I'll mail you a copy.

By the way, I'm a great- grandmother, too.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks, Jean. I love talking about writing to kids and am looking forward to this morning.

Gloria, what a wonderful idea, the kids must have loved you and your class. I will contact you.