Last week I wrote about our Passion Projects. My students are continuing to work on these, but we’ve hit a few bumps along the road.
I am trying to tell myself that any worthwhile learning endeavor has road blocks. We just need to power through them.
On Monday, I had to have the serious talk about plagiarism. I showed Tobie how I could put the text of his writing into a Google search, and it would take me to the very site where he got the information. I explained that I was not interested in reading someone else’s work. “I want to hear your voice, your passion.”
Emily pouted and tore up her draft. She was distraught. To her, Mary Pope Osborn has a perfect voice. She lost confidence in her own passion. I gave her the you-are-a-writer speech, then I left her alone, and by Tuesday, she was writing again. And this time without even looking at the book.
Erin had decided to bullet-point facts for her project. This is a good craft move; however, as a class we had decided that the word count would be more than 300 words. She was in tears. I said, “You know everything you need to know about narwhals. Open your journal and just write what you know.” She eventually wrote two more paragraphs.
Before Erin’s road block, she spent a great deal of time making a color page. She has extended her project to be a service project. She wants to raise money to “adopt a narwhal.” She decided to use Paint to create her color page. I forget about this tool. It’s been around a long time. Sometimes the just-right tool has been there all along.
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