Workshops can be as short as a half hour and as long as three consecutive days with multiple classroom/assembly visits.
Students will learn that everything they need to write an amazing story is all around them–right now. In Write What You Know, I lead students to think of an ‘ordinary’ place in an extraordinary way. (I use my stories, “A Day at Liberty Bay” and “Daddy’s Garden” to illustrate the magic of the familiar.)
In the Build A Story exercise, I open with one of my stories; from there I introduce students to my “Story Bag.” Students pull mysterious objects from the bag. Using the objects (bananas, rocks, pencils, cars), we write a story together, covering important ideas of Setting, Characters, and Plot. Uproarious laughter ensues, as well as the great satisfaction and excitement of communal story telling!
Workshops can also be as simple as Listen to Words! workshop, where we pound a drum as we perform a well-known poem, listening closely for the musicality and rhythm of language. We talk about the “color” and “taste” of words as we weave our own poem.
Perhaps you as a teacher or librarian are focusing on a certain theme like nature, friendship, environmentalism, or community. I would love to design a writing workshop or a reading that highlights your class’ interests. (For example, themes in my stories touch on all the above themes).
Is a workshop too much? I love to pop in, share one or more of my stories, and engage in a conversation about writing.