Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Librarian and the Rules, Girls and Boys

Last week, I started a Book project at the local elementary school. Due to concerts and conferences, I worked only with Mrs. Smith's class (names changed for privacy). Today, I returned to meet with that group again.

I figured we would complete a set of story maps as a pre-writing activity. First the group brainstormed library subtopics. I explained how to use a story map to organize ideas before writing. As we filled in the group Story Map, it became clear that there would be considerable overlap when the students got down to writing. Ok, overlap it is, then. My next step was to have each student fill in her own story map but focused only on one subtopic.


Topics
The final group Story Map with real names redacted.
Once we looked at the Story Map we'de created, I asked each student to pick a first and second choice to write about. All four girls wanted to write about Mrs. Books, the librarian. Both boys wanted to write about the Rules. Hmmm.
Using some number guessing, the assignments worked out like this:
  • Organization of the Library - Sally
  • Books 1 - Mary
  • Books 2 - Susan
  • Coming to the Library - John
  • Librarian - Jane
  • Rules of the library - Danny
  • Fun in the library - Steve, by default


Notes:
  • Steve was absent.
  • Danny and John acted like good friends. Last week, John only seemed interested in goofing around and impressing Steve.
  • Mary and Susan were nearly inseparable - until I separated them.
  • Jane was totally charged hat she got to write about the librarian. She was like a different girl this week.
  • Danny took on the role of group clown this week by offering the library subtopic of toast and jam repeatedly.
  • Sally seemed surprised that her topic could be so concrete. She began to over think her topic.

Question to Ponder
  • Is there anything to the fact that all the girls wanted to write about Mrs. Books and all the boys wanted to write about rules?
  • Would each student be able to write enough to make the book interesting?


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