making connections through art and writing
IТve been using the WriterТs Workshop format with a picture from artistaday.com in all of my classes every Friday, and it has been a wonderful learning experience for both my AP kids who are participating in the Pages program, and my English 11 students who arenТt.Т My AP kids are getting really creative with their writing and they are just enjoying the academic down time at the end of the week (I have them 8th period, the last class of the day).
I wanted to share, though, the moment that I witnessed yesterday in my English 11 class. Т It was one of those magical teacher moments.Т My 6th period has a new student, Devon, from Texas.Т He was a little shy, but I could tell that he wanted to make friends, and it was hard to break into the social structure of the class who had been moving together through classes for years.
So, we were going through the workshop process: noting details, writing connections, making a theme statement (which has really helped me get the kids thinking), and sharing with a partner.Т Well, Devon wrote a poem based on a feminist theme, about men expecting their women to stay home in the kitchen, but really they want to fly free.Т He shared it with Tanasha, one of the popular, outspoken girls in the class.Т She made a scene about how all the guys should be as smart and thoughtful as he was, and it just exploded to other girls looking at it and praising him, and then the boys high fiving him and doing their male bonding thing.Т It was just so awesome (and slightly hilarious) to see this happen.Т I could see major happiness in the new kidТs eyes, though he tried hard to not show it.
This activity is really rewarding to me in the ways that matter to me as a teacher. IТm seeing kids be really proud of their writing, and generally becoming more attentive to details.Т ItТs going to be very helpful as I begin to focus on how an authorТs choice of detail contributes to meaning and purpose.