Thursday, October 2, 2008

Virtual classroom visit day 2

Today I was a student and got to write with the class. This was fun and challenging to me since I have never written anything from a picture prompt before. Backing up, Mr. Hughes teaches the five ways to start a story (action, dialogue, setting, one sentence wonders - the opening paragraph is only one sentence long and it is provocative, and reflection); today's lesson was on starting with dialogue. He uses the Harris Burdick Mystery pictures. They have captions or descriptions and then you formulate a way to take the picture. Anyway, this is the caption that accompanied the picture today with the picture below:



She knew it was time to send them back.

The caterpillars softly wiggled in her hand,

spelling out "goodbye"

The assignment was to start with dialogue and we only had three (3) minutes to write something. I came up with the following off the top of my head. The class really liked it but it was strange for me to do this since I had never really used a picture prompt before.

"Why do I have to send them back?" She looked down at her hand. "Why, Mother?"

"They have to go back to where they came from."

Susie's tears fell down her cheeks. "Goodbye, my friends. I will miss you. Grow into your beautiful selves." She placed the caterpillars on the flower next to her.

"Come now, dear. They will come back some day." Mother said.

So let me know how you would have started this story with some dialogue - post your comments, be creative and have fun. - E :)


Holly Jahangiri said...

Ahhh, they put you on the hot spot! Good job with the prompt, too. How did the rest of the class approach it? It's always fun to see various interpretations.

BatyaD said...

She knew it was time to send them back. The caterpillars softly wiggled in her hand,
spelling out "goodbye."

"They won't remember me, Oscar. They'll forget," Alphonse whispered.

Oscar reached over, laying his palm under hers. "Spelling caterpillars have memory, don't they? Otherwise, how could they spell anything?"

She blinked, squeezing a half-formed tear onto her cheek. "I guess."

"Besides," Oscar guided his friend's hand over to a wide leafed plant. She had to take a step to keep from toppling over. "You would't want anyone keeping you from your destiny, would you? What if I said you couldn't go to ballet class just 'cause you do so well in math?"

Alphonse stared at her friend. Finally, something about it all made sense to her. Leave it to Oscar to speak her language.

Gently, one by one, she lifted the caterpillars and placed a tiny kiss on their backs. "Remember me," she said to each. Then she placed them on the plant and waited until they started humping along the branches.

A few months later, Alphonse and Oscar walked together through that same garden.

"Look up!" Oscar said.

Hovering over the flowers was a multicolored, fluttering message. Spelled out in iridescent butterly wings was, "Thanks for our freedom. Love, Us."

--Batya Deene

elysabeth said...


Only three of the kids got to read aloud and two of them described the picture or started with the usual leading sentence - like She said she would never say goodbye or something to that effect. Mr. Hughes did a good job in making sure they understood how to change it to start with dialogue. I get to do it again today - different picture and different way to start the story. I have to brush up on what's next - lol - I'll keep ya'll posted and don't worry, I won't neglect the Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour (see I've posted a few teasers already - the challenge coming up and it's going to be a surprise until the day of the tour).

Batya, I love it. Of course over the 5-10 minutes you had, it turned out great. I may write more when I get a chance. Will see what today's writing prompt is and how we are tackling it. Will post tomorrow.

See ya'll then - E :)

Rena said...

Wow, that's not much time. Good job.

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