|Here I am on The Rubicon|
Trail in Lake Tahoe, 7/6/13
I want my students to understand that this is how writers work. My new idea for a lesson with my fifth graders is to bring my students outside with clipboards, pencils, and paper. Each of them will go find a spot under a tree, on the grass, or anywhere they please outside at school. They will sit for 20 minutes and just take it all in, and write down whatever comes to their mind. They can write about what's around them, what's in their head, something on their mind, or even nothing at all! We'll practice this quite a bit, and discuss how authors do this in everyday life. An idea may come to them while on a walk, in the grocery store, stuck in traffic, waiting in line, or when just arising from bed in the morning. Authors are always looking for ideas. Often times, ideas find them instead of the other way around.
I want my students to think and act like authors. Once they do that, everything else (the grammar, spelling, revising, editing, reviewing etc.) will be ready to fall into place. Thinking and being open to ideas are the most important, initial steps in writing.