Saturday, September 09, 2006
Better Late Than Never!!
Wow! Friday comes fast in a shortened week! My apologies for having the Friday book posted on Saturday morning!!
Since it is the first week of school for kids, I thought I would share one of my favorite adult reads that has a poignant story right in the middle. Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros is a collection of stories about Mexican-American women. Throughout the book, the author uses powerful descriptions of people and places that excerpted would be wonderful examples to show students about the power of details. (My own copy has many, many Post-It notes for this very reason!)
However, the most compelling lesson and one that extends far beyond writing, is in the short story “Eleven.” This quick four pages tells the story of a girl on her eleventh birthday and a powerful moment in school that will mark that day forever in her mind. It has great descriptions, powerful voice, and is sure to evoke many memories from the reader.
My favorite writing activity to do after reading the story is to have the readers retell the story through the eyes of another character in the story (the worksheet and directions for this can be found on my companion wiki). It is great to hear the stories that come from participants with this activity and more importantly, to ask them where the inspiration for the story came from. In fact, many are reluctant to put the writing away and often finish it so that they can share it with their students. A great lesson exercise to practice the trait of voice.