This past Saturday morning I had a wonderful time in a full room of 3rd - 6th graders--plus some parents and young writers below and above that age range. This was the first Free Youth Drop-In Writing Workshop at The Cabin, and I feel the large group of us had a good time. If you weren't one of the 30 (youths) to 40+ (everybody) in attendance, here's a breakdown of what we did. You and your young writers can explore these ideas on your own.
Objective: Use visualization and conversation to open up gateways through images from memory, and use strong sensory details to capture these images through writing.
My aim: to have a fun time this Saturday morning unlocking our creative voices and writing something new that can make us proud and start our weekend adventures well.
After talking briefly about the senses and imagery, we got into a visualization exercise.
Much writing starts with an image. And also writing about stuff we know well.
Sometimes we’re so close to the stuff we know well, we forget it’s important.
The details of your life are very important – even ones that seem too small to care about.
Close your eyes. Take yourself in your mind to a part of your home that you know well.
Where you live now, or somewhere you used to live.
Some small part of it. Your front door, maybe. Or a window. Or table.
Visualize it closely. Use all your senses. Take it all in.
If you stand there, what’s around you: in front/behind/right/left/above/below.
Once you have a good sense of you in that place, open your eyes.
You’re going to tell your neighbor what you saw.
Turn to a neighbor.
Take turns sharing all the details you noticed about this object/place, for one minute each.
Read Entering Doorways
We read it to ourselves and out loud.
We discussed the poem--including words that need defining and phrases that stand out.
We find the senses in the poem, and talk about how small things become important here.
Go back to your image. What you visualized, what you shared with your neighbor.
Get it back in your mind. Picture it with all your senses. Get a clear image.
Now, write down what you see. Record this portion of your house.
You can use this poem as an example of how a person made something small bigger.
You can make it a poem, a story, a description, whatever you like.
Get in all the details. Use all the senses. Go deeply into the small things.
The room felt brighter after all that reading, discussion, writing and sharing. If this is something you'd be interested in sharing with the young writers and artists in your life, let them know it will be the second Saturday of each month. If the series continues to go well, we'll continue into 2017! October 8, Danny Stewart will lead the 7th-and-up graders, and I'll see you all again in November.
Happy Friday to you!
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make.