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Today’s Lesson Was Inspired By One of My Former Students

Fall 2006.

One of my talented former students, who was part of the Extended Day Program, decided to undertake an independent writing project similar to Lisa Meyer’s Book Quotes for Kids: Today’s Interpretations of Timeless Quotes Designed to Nurture the Young Spirit. My student’s interpretations of a variety of quotations (and overheard things she heard her family say) found its way to being one of the most spectacular independent writing projects I’ve ever seen.

Spring 2008.

We’re spending the week this week’s Writing Workshop time (in my class) reviving our notebooks, writing in them using new strategies. Today’s teaching point was inspired by “Marie,” the girl who put together an amazing independent writing project nearly a year and a half ago. (Amazing how time flies!) Today’s teaching point is:
Writers craft notebook entries based on their interpretations of quotes.

There’s only one problem: I THINK I GAVE MARIE HER INDEPENDENT WRITING PROJECT BACK AT THE END OF THE LAST SCHOOL YEAR since I cannot find it anywhere in my apartment! I really wanted to show my students her interpretation book, but cannot seem to locate it. Grrr! Yes, I can talk about Marie’s book, but showing it during the minilesson demonstration would be even better.

Reasons I should’ve learned how to work my scanner last year (rather than this fall)…

Anyway, here are some of the quotes I’m going to give students today to analyze. Seeing as there are quotes everywhere in my classroom (books, on signs, and even on their name plates), they’ll have much more to choose from than the ones on this list.
• “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
• “To succeed… you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” –Tony Dorsett
• “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.” –Christian Larson
• “Respect yourself if you would have others respect you.” — Baltasar Gracian
• “We won’t even attempt to achieve what we do not believe at a deep level we can have or deserve. “ –Ruth Ross
• “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” – Unknown
• “Whatever you do, don’t do it halfway.” –Bob Beaman
• “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you’ve got something to say.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
• “Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary.” –Ray Knight
• “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –Robert F. Kennedy
• “There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” –Dennis Waitley
• “I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” –Charlotte Bronte
• “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” –Stephen Covey
• “To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.” — Unknown
• “My favorite four-letter words are ‘hard work’.” –John Wayne
• “When your writing is filled with detail, it has a lot more impact.” –Ivan Levison
• “Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do.” — Martina Navratilova
• “The artist is nothing without gift, but gift is nothing without work.” — Émile Zola
• “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.” –Anthony Robbins
• “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” –Arthur Ashe
• “Most people search high and wide for the key to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within.” –George Washington Carver

Edited (6:44 a.m.): Eureka!!!!
I found Marie’s Book of Interpretations in my bookshelf! 🙂

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

2 thoughts on “Today’s Lesson Was Inspired By One of My Former Students Leave a comment

  1. Those are some great quotes. My sister and I are always quoting our mother. Her comments were all her own and very much to the point. Now I sometimes hear my grandsons imitating me, and I realize that I sound just like my mom.


  2. I teach 2nd grade. Do you think my students are too young for quotations such as the ones you posted? I plan on beginning to expose them day one and hopefully be inspired by them to write by mid year (or earlier if the mood strikes some of them!). Please post more about Marie’s book of interpretations. Great stuff and thank you. You are awesome and inspirational to us all! The quote I stick to like glue is “Try to learn something new every day” Unknown author.


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