Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finding her Voice

I shared a handout on Intros, Hooks, and ... on no, a senior moment...I will remember in a few minutes, but any way I was teaching my students that we do not have to have boring introductions.  Leads... that was the missing word!  Some of the strategies included using a rhetorical question to begin an intro, such as "Wouldn't you want to go to a restaurant that serves amazing food, has a cozy atmosphere, and reasonable prices to match?, or start it with a string of adjectives,  Lush, cool, and sprinkled with colorful flowers, was what I set my eyes on as we climbed the narrow path up to Mt. Britton, making the trek all worth the effort.  Any way, as I shared these techniques, many of my students perked up and listened.  I gave them opportunity after opportunity to practice and today was their third chance, and some enthusiastically ran with it.  It was thrilling to see them.  Some for the first time picking up a pen with the confidence that they could actually write some thing that they could feel proud about.

I in fact shared eight writing techniques, not my original, but a handout that I had studied and explained in depth.  The students highlighted and wrote notes as I went over them.  I also explained that they didn't have to put all eight into practice at the same time.  I wanted them to choose three techniques that they felt confident that they could handle.  Many chose the rhetorical question, some the riddle, others the string of adjectives which is one of my personal favorites, while others chose figurative language using either a powerful simile or metaphor, loving how they could master a writing technique.  None chose the complex sentence but we will practice those, too.  Just wait and see. There is so much more to learn but imagine what kind of year we will have if they discover that they can write.

One of my students,  a gentle young lady who rarely speaks up, came up to me at the end of class and handed me her thin paper that seemed to be on fire saying,
"Ms. Vazquez, I could never write before, and I wrote this!"
 I smiled and asked, "And what did you classmates say?"
"They loved it!' She beamed.
I read it and I loved it, too.  It was creative, joyful, and full of dialogue, but what I loved the most was that she had found her voice. 

That made my day.

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