We were learning about Writer's Workshop today and one of the beliefs of a Writer's Workshop teacher is that kids write on topics of their own choosing! Easier said than done, especially if all of their school life they have been TOLD what to write about. So early in the school year, Writer's Workshop teachers spend time helping kids figure out what kinds of stories they can write. One way to do this is with...
Me BagsMe Bags? What? Hold on to your hat- this is the simplest idea ever! Teacher- you go buy some gift bags at the dollar store- or some paper bags from the grocery store if you can still find a store that has those!
Maybe you read the book by Mem Fox too! It's a story about a little boy who has friends in the retirement home near his house who have lost their memories. So he goes around his house to find things that will help them get their memories back. It works! And each object he brings them has a memory/story attached to it. That's what you'll encourage your students to do. Go around their house to collect those memories.
You'll make a plan for which kids will take a bag home which night.
Grace, Isaiah, Austin, Simon- Friday (take bag home) Monday (bag due back to school)
Sarah, Jessica, Rodolfo, and Reagan- Monday (take bag home) Wednesday (bag due back at school)
Miranda, Taylor, Brandon, Jai'Lyn- Tuesday (take bag home) Thursday (bag due back at school)
Kids will take the bag home with this note attached and possibly this recording sheet of the contents.
When the bag comes back to school- they will have time to share the contents of their bag.
This is a picture of my grandma who lives in Mexico.
This is a picture of my horse.
These are my ballet shoes.
This is my basketball trophy.
This is my favorite video game.
I of course bring a bag in myself first- each item in my bag has a story/memory attached to it. The button reminds me of my Michigan State memories. The Poky Little Puppy- is a favorite book from when I was little- so it has "when I was little" stories! And another item is money from our trip to the Bahamas last summer! Objects can have memories attached. What's going in your teacher Me Bag?
Why would we do this you ask? Because all of the things that come out of that bag are attached to ideas for stories (personal narratives) that kids could write! When they say (get a good annoying voice ready), "I don't know what to write about!" You say... oh YES you do! The list of items from their Me Bag, that are written on the recording sheet that sheet is inside of their Writing Folder. See more about writing folders here.
Ta-Da! Topics of their own choosing- their first 10 stories are waiting for them because of Me Bags. And you can get the sheet right HERE! Happy writing!