Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Writing Slices with Students

Slice of Life ChallengePlease join the challenge over at Two Writing Teachers!


I'm introducing my students to writing slices. I introduced them to one of my slices about my childhood bedroom. We talked about what makes an interesting story and how to include important details. I read them a couple of stories out of Knucklehead to show them how Jon Scieszka wrote funny stories about chores and playing outside with friends. Before we started writing, we searched our memories for stories. I shared the map from Ralph Fletcher's book Marshfield Dreams and had them draw a map of a place that's important and filled with their own stories.
During one class, I created my own map. 
I drew my Grammy & Papa's house. We spent every Sunday over there after church. As I began sketching, the memories came flooding back! Running into the house through the screened porch and trying to remember not to let the door slam. Grammy leaving treats for my sister and I on the kitchen shelves. Sitting around the table and listening to the history of our family and the yelling and the laughter. I remember the red plaid chair that was Papa's chair. I remember sitting in that living room watching Doug Flutie through the Hail Mary pass six years before I'd decide to attend Boston College. Those rooms filled with memories and love and the smell of garlic and the feel of hugs!! 

Sorry, I got carried away. Each of those memories could become it's own slice. Today, my slice is about memories and maps and family and students finding their own slices. I hope that they have as much enthusiasm about their topics as I've found in mine. 


I shared the map of Facebook and the comments from my mom and my aunts and my sister made me smile. They remembered details I'd forgotten. Yet another reason I love writing...it brings families together. 

17 comments:

  1. Your maps are so inspiring..and I can why your family smiled! The memories floated through them....through cyberspace...and time....

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    1. Thanks Anita! It was funny to read their memories!

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  2. It's funny, I participate in SoLSC each week but until I read your post, I forgot I wanted to use it with kids this year. Thanks for the reminder! I like how you got your kids rolling with it this year!

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    1. I always seem to forget too Michele! Happy Slicing! :)

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  3. Michelle, I am starting my day with a smile after reading your post! I am doing a blog with my high schoolers this year, but I think I need to spend a little more time talking about it. Your ideas and stories are inspiring!

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    1. Thanks Jaana! We are writing these in our notebooks first. We'll get to blogging later. :) I decided to slowly get them writing on computers this year. I am loving it!

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  4. Michelle,
    Your students will be fabulous slicers because you model writing passion, voice and choice. Great ideas for inspiring your students! (Also reminders of my own grandma's after Sunday church!)

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much Fran!! I really appreciate your comments! :)

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  5. I love doing that map "like Ralph" and yours is of course, beautiful. I am excited to read how your students venture into slicing. I'm hoping to venture there too!
    Julieanne

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  6. Love the maps, love Ralph Fletcher. I'm a so excited that he will be keynoting in the Spring at our writing project and I will get to shake his hand and say thanks. Have a great year of slicing with us and your students, Michelle.

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  7. I have also used Ralph Fletcher's map. It really helped my students focus. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Memory slices are the best and when kids...and teachers...really start thinking about memories, the slices just seem to appear! Good luck with this genre with your students. We have not written as much as what I would like. There just doesn't seem to be enough time.

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  9. Isn't it amazing how memories pile in and it is difficult to keep up with the thoughts? I can imagine that your students will have some great stories and find the joy in writing. Your map even brought memories to me of visiting my grandparents! This made me smile...thanks. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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  10. Michelle,, it is always enjoyable reading your posts because they are filled with voice, honest sentiments, and nostalgia. Perhaps, you will find time this autumn to join me as I find fall. I just posted the Summer Serenity Gallery at http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2014/09/unveiling-of-summer-serenity-galley.html.

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  11. Love that mapping activity - it gets the writing juices flowing, and my kids find new stories to add all the time, as the year goes by.

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  12. I love writing...it brings families together. ...Love that line!

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  13. I love writing...it brings families together. ...Love that line!

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