My fourth and fifth grade workshop students worked on getting to know their characters. Figuring out what they love more than anything else and the reason is a huge part of their motivation. Establishing their fear and throwing them into a dangerous situation where that fear is right in their face helps them decide what kind of person their character is. What are their strengths, weaknesses? Brave, strong, scared, helpless?
They are ready to begin their stories if they know the answers to these questions.
My middle grade writers had fun decorating their Grasping Gratitude gift boxes. This special box holds what they are grateful for.
It’s an endless gift that we can always go back to when life gets too hard.
When we grasp gratitude, we hold the goodness in life that makes it worth living. We heal from the pain and loss that we feel. We appreciate what we have.
This was their favorite part of the workshop. I hope they continue to grasp the positive.
Fall is here and my latest series of writing classes for all ages have begun! Back to back workshops tonight at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library were filled with creative minds just clamoring to get their ideas across. Sometimes it takes some prodding, but once the flood gates open, there’s no telling what they will come up with.
We talked about how important it is to figure out what a character loves and wishes for the most. Once that happens, then establishing a fear comes next. As a writer we want to place our character in the midst of their fear on their way to getting what they love. That is where the conflict occurs and keeps someone reading.
This creative group came up with some interesting combinations in addition to the usual physical descriptions. Their characters are coming alive!
The second workshop was journaling with middle school students. They were exhausted from a day of school, so sometimes it’s hard to spark their interest. Those who were there wanted to be. They wrote about their day and one girls said her day was boring. But when I asked her about something that interested her during the day, there was an incident. Then everyone remembered something and wrote about how they felt and how it affected them. Sometimes writing it down is all that’s needed, but if the incident caused anxiety or fear, then it might be worth figuring out why, so a change can be made. This is the deeper more therapeutic side of journaling.
Then it was time for the creative, fun stuff. They shared some of the activities they like to do in the fall. Then they made their fall pages and marked with bullets everything on their list. Sometimes when it’s right in front of us, we are reminded of our priorities. Otherwise fall is over, and we never spent the time doing what matters, like playing football or baseball with the family or picking out pumpkins.
Sometimes journaling is just creative fun, and Emily definitely enjoyed the washi tape! So many choices of what you can do in the world of journaling.