In Keith Bollman’s fifth grade class, students are beginning to consider moving into drafts. They’ve envisioned their writing and are moving out of the rehearsal stage and into drafting. Today I taught them how to stretch a scene. The Great Pumpkin Switch by Megan Mcdonald and Ted Lewin is one of the texts in play in the classroom, and so I’m planning to share the opening scene, as it is a good example of stretching a small moment. Following that, I’ll share a quick write I did in my notebook about getting my cabbage patch doll.
Then, we discussed ways Mcdonald & Lewin, as well as myself, stretched our scenes. One of the things the students found is that Mcdonald & Lewin used dialogue to really zoom in on the scene, while I used quite a bit of action.
During our quiet writing time, I asked them to try a quick write in their writer’s notebooks by stretching their most important scene. This enabled them to write without the pressure of “creating a draft.” However, I imagine much of this writing will end up in their drafts. Lately I’ve been rediscovering the power of quick writers for myself and I’m anxious to share this with students.