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.