Friday, November 30, 2012

The power of Arthur...yes the children's book character

In beginning a  new unit on Narrative writing in my 2nd grade class room I have the students watch a variety of Arthur cartoons.  Arthur experiences very normal things in these videos.  One he wants a puppy and figures out a plan for getting a dog.  Another he gets glasses and another takes place on picture day and his best freind Francine has a very bad hair day.  Each of these videos shows the kids that even their simpliest day has the potential to be a story if they look at the events through the eyes of a writer.  After we watch the initial stories we then watch Arthur Write a Story.  In this one he takes one of the events from earlier...getting a puppy and writes a story.  Here is the connection to my own writing and publishing companies.  Arthur gives a very nice story to his friends to read and they all have advise.  The first friend tells him a story is not interesting unless it has romance, so he adds romance.  Another tells him a good story has aliens so he adds aliens, you get the idea.  So by the end of the video Arthur has lost HIS story and created a random story that has all the elements the friends wanted but lost his voice and his heart.  Sometimes I feel that when we jump through the hoops of writing and publishing this happens to us. I have had a variety of writing partners that have shifted my story and I have to step back and say no, this isn't the story I wanted to tell.  Funny how a childs cartoon can help me remember I need to please myself in order to be proud of whatever I put out there.

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