Over at Two Writing Teachers link about Collecting Ephemera Ruth wrote about her students bring stuff in to add to their writing journals to trigger writing. This triggered memories for me about how I started my writers out with Topic Development using Photography.
I believe that students own responsibility for topic development and teachers need to get out of their way. We need to provide lots of opportunities for success. I like to think about the movie, Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come.” Build the writing memories, and they will write!”
I am a photography person. Notice that I do not say photographer. My dad is a photographer.
I read Miss Fannie’s Hat Link to Amazon to see Miss Fannie’s Hat as my read-aloud in the morning. Then I showed my students my precious moments collection (not all of it, just a few ‘precious’ pieces of memories and shared the memories).
I shared real Lake Michigan sand and a few quick bits of stories about spending my day at the beach with my siblings and extended family. Jim Arnosky’s Beachcomber’s book is a wonderful literature addition to this lesson. Link to Amazon Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore by Jim Arnosky
I shared my baby blanket and the story connected to a story. (Now that Knuffle Bunny is out and a wonderful story I always make this connection. Link to Amazon Knuffle Bunny
This is writing brainstorming with lots of realia (real items) to support my English Language Learners. The benefit for all learners is that everyone is connecting to memories that are important to them. It is easy to write when your senses are triggered.
Chart Paper is loaded with photographs of the items.
Memories by Deb
-shocked look on face
I jotted all these words by the pictures.
Something to think about. GOOD THINKING – Photography captures memories, blogs captures moments in time. If I did this now I would have them save their pictures in a journal instead of on the big charts – maybe ???? Something to think about.
What did the kids do? I encouraged the students to bring in pictures from home. I took pictures in gym, in music, in the library, in computer lab, outside on the playground, in class at every subject, fire drills, at lunch. I documented their school lives. I printed many many copies and let them replicate what I started here. Since I knew about this project ahead of time, I went to their ‘places’ – McDonalds playland, Chuckie Cheese, baseball games, and even the year before, the playground, and their first grade classrooms and prepared for them. It worked. It was awesome. My writers did not say, “I do not have something to write about.” They picked a picture and a memory of a person, a place, or an object when they were stuck. “They” say a picture is worth a thousand words.
No a picture triggers a 1000 words.
Filed under: connections, photographs, photography, writing, Writing Mini-Lessons | Tagged: writing, writing mini-lesson | 1 Comment »