Mai Yamani

Writer's workshop

Eight and nine year olds simply do not want to write these very simple little realistic stories, they want to write great ambitious stories with all sorts of crazed happenings very badly. Trying to get them to write these silly little stories with no substance and no soul is like pulling nails.

The approach we've been given to get them writing is ridiculous, too. The idea is that they're supposed to create a character, and then come up with a story that happens to that character. I'm sorry, but they can write all week about how their protagonist is tall and has blue eyes and long blonde hair and straight teeth and no freckles but how they're supposed to get from that point to a story, especially a pale anemic story made from styrofoam, is beyond me.

For contrast, the nonfiction unit we finished was simply spectacular. Every single child (well, except for the ones who failed to finish anything at all) turned in something to be proud of. Once they got to the point of writing, they proved that they actually understood how to present facts in a reasonably clear manner. Gah.

Er, right then, it's time for math.