When Wonder Wednesday comes around on a Slice of Life Challenge Day, we write in a slightly more personal way about what we wonder about. My students scan the internet for information sometimes having a hard time committing to a subject. And as they sit side by side, ideas spread across the room and before I know it, I have 3 or 4 kids gathered around a computer screen watching a video about ghosts.
Later when I check blog posts, I find that not only do their interests spread, their writing decisions do, too. Wonder poems have been cropping up on Wednesdays. I am afraid to tell my students how much this pleases me. I think maybe I should leave well enough alone.
Tara Smith posted this quote on Facebook: “The fact is that kids learn to make good decisions by making good decisions, not by following directions.” Alfie Kohn
As my students write daily on their blogs, they are making more and more decisions about their writing without me. I read and see so much development, so many craft moves, and so much care to write well. I also see them becoming aware of the pleasures of writing for writing’s sake. They are pleased with themselves.
Lani shared with me her Wonder SOL, “Look at my poem! I rhymed and I didn’t even know it.”
There is the world
where the dead
are still alive
on the living.
Maybe one day
belief that this
can haunt you
and they indeed
Lani, 4th grade
Lynzee sat close to Lani and wrote about ghost towns. She created a poem, too.
Montana Ghost Town
No one to be seen or heard,
You suddenly think,
And run until you get home
Then you think,
“Home, Sweet, Home.”
Your parents then say,
“Where were you?”
–Lynzee, 1st grade
Emily perused some pictures from a local newspaper photo contest. I cut out the photos, mounted them on colored paper, and left them on the table for inspiration. She didn’t realize that she was writing a mask poem until I told her. Don’t you love when a student just naturally has a gift for writing a poem? What a pleasure to see this one appear in her Slice.
I walk across a gravel road with my 3 little cubs,
We search for berries and fruits to eat, but we can not find them,
From behind some type of yellow shelter emerges a little child,
With hair of blonde and eyes of blue,
We run for a bit, but stop,
She approaches with berries of blue,
With even amounts for each,
I thank the young girl with a friendly rub at her knees,
She laughs and runs back home,
She won’t understand how grateful I am for feeding my children and me.
–Emily, 5th grade