Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Love Torturing Children

That's what I tell my students anyway. How do I torture them, you ask? I make them write!!!!!!!!! I know, how appalling, right?

I teach 8th grade language arts and this year I made them participate in NaNoWriMo's Young Writer's Program. The plan: Write my book, while they write theirs, showing them they are all writers! So we wrote for at least 30 minutes a day, for a month. Some of them wrote more than that, but with 13 and 14 year olds you can only ask so much. They all got at least a 1000-word-novel written. (One of them wrote almost 10,000 words) They all got little pins that say, "First Class Novelist." I hope they also got an experience they will never forget: they wrote a novel!

The NaNoWriMo workbook I found on the Young Writer's Program Website was awesome and very helpful. It allowed me to teach my students so many literary elements while helping them explore their writing and imaginations. I even made them choose an excerpt and write a submission letter. I plan to finish my novel over Christmas break (because, no, I didn't reach my goal :( but I will finish!) and some of them planned to add to what they had written in class.

I am so proud of them AND I really enjoyed torturing them too!

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