fantasy writing.

I’m working in a fifth grade classroom this week who studied Chris Van Allsburg and are now working on their own fantasy stories.  I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the teacher’s decision to begin the year with fantasy writing, but after a few days in the classroom, I think it’s a brilliant idea.   Here’s why:

  1. The students are really excited.  I’m beginning to believe it’s the dream of every fifth grader to write fiction.  Their imaginations are running wild. 
  2. It’s a great opportunity to use mentor texts and learn how to “read like a writer.”
  3. They are able to refresh their memories on the writing process.  They are working on these projects and will soon take one draft to publication.
  4.  It’s a genre they’ve not attempted before in writing workshop.  What a way to celebrate  being a “5th grade writer!”
  5. It’s meeting Indiana State Standards in a way that is meaningful to students.  What a way to “go in through the back door” of the standards book.

And it’s been a refreshing challenge to me.  I’ve never written a fantasy story and so I’ve been learning along with them.  Tomorrow (for WNW (Writer’s Notebook Wednesdays)), I’m going to share my notebook entries surrounding this project.