Monday, November 06, 2006

This I Believe...

Monday mornings are rough for me. I never accomplish what I want to over the weekend: my house is a minor disaster, I didn't rake leaves, and work seems to pile up rather than dwindle. Plus, anyone who know me knows I am not a morning person.

But I listen to NPR to get my news fix in and have become hooked on Monday mornings in order to get my "This I Believe" fix. According to it's website, This I Believe "is a national media project engaging millions of people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives." Based on a radio program from the 1950's hosted by Edward R. Murrow, the NPR program allows anyone to write the essay and submit it to the site. Original essays from the 1950's program are also available.

In researching the NPR site, I found an incredible blog with podcasts of "This I Believe" statements from ninth grade students. The student's voices are rich and many are very emotional - it is powerful to here these statements and I wonder how those statements will change in the years to come. This is an incredible writing challenge - and these students rose to the occaision.

In a recent workshop on writing, I asked the participants to write their own "This I Believe" statements about writing. My intent was to have them frame their thinking about writing BEFORE we started looking into the 6 Traits and Step Up to Writing. My intent was to have them capture their passions about teaching writing- so that voice did not get lost as we became immersed in strategies.

I am not sure how I did. I did not have them share their statements - I felt they were a little too personal, too intimate to share with the peers. I might have been wrong...

In any event, "This I Believe" statements are powerful writing. I am still crafting mine about writing. When it is done, and meets the requirements of NPR, I will post it here. And I just might submit it to NPR as well!

What do you believe?


Anonymous said...

Do you think this could work with elementary school kids?

Theresa G said...

Absolutely - what age group knows better what they believe than elementary? You might need to do more modeling and provide the NPR samples - they are podcast there and I have found ones from 16 year olds that they might make connections with. Who am I kidding - you are the Master of Mentor text!! ***See the previous post!