Miss C. has been reaching out to Michelle (Literacy Learning Zone) and I about writing ideas, specifically about motivating some of her students to write. Today I walked into Miss C.’s third grade class with a book in my hands: One Day, The End.: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. I quickly explained that I had a book to share with the class. I meant to leave the book with Miss C., who was about to begin a read-aloud with her students. Instead, she invited me to sit in her very special chair and read to her very amazing third grade class. It was an opportunity I just could not pass up! So, I sat down…
We read the title together. We made predictions and we talked about stories- short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories. I began to read the book. The students were surprised that there were not many words on the pages of this book. We looked at the detail in the illustrations. We talked about our thinking. We inferred all the happenings between the beginning and the end of each adventure story. These third graders loved this book! They were thoroughly and completely engaged.
Then, I got to the last 2 pages when the girl announced her next adventure- that one day she wanted to write a book! The students gasped. The students looked around with wonder. How would she- and could she- go from telling about her adventures with such few words to writing an entire book?
I turned to the last page… Right there, on the girl’s bookshelf, were all of her adventure stories- short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories written as a book! The students recognized that each book title was one of her adventures from the book! We revisited the detail in the illustrations. Those details were the words she wrote in her books. Those words were the details between the beginning and the ending of her shorter-than-ever stories!
So, we talked about our own every-day adventures. We talked about telling our stories. We talked about writing our stories down. (Even if our stories are short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories). Miss C. and I helped the students connect that each one of their adventures can be written as a story. Each adventure story can be made into a book. Each book can be placed on a shelf for others to read and enjoy!
Isn’t that what we are doing with our slices? We are writing about our own adventures. Some are short stories. Some are very short stories. Some are shorter-than-ever stories. The important thing is that we go out and have adventures (even every-day adventures) and that we write them down so we can share our stories with others.
Maybe one day I’ll have my stories on my bookshelf too…
Thank you, Miss C. and your amazing third grade class, for letting me spend time in your classroom today. I can’t wait to read about your adventures!
And thank you, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, for this excellent mentor text for writing that we shared with our students today!