I recently read an article from the NY Times that was titled, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. It shared a unique type of type of literacy with me because it helped me to use my imagination to visually create in my mind what was happening. It was a type of writing that I would like all of my future students to be able to write with and it leaves me with the question of “how does one teach kids to write in that way?”.
As a teacher of younger students I know that this exact type of writing is not a product I will see much in my own classroom but there is a type of explanation that I would like to pass on to my kids. When my students tell me what they did at recess I get a response similarly to, “I played on the playground with (insert names of friends here) and we ran up the super high green slide and then slide down as fast as we could. We tried to race all they way down and then through the playground afterwards because we started a game of chase. I got so tired I had to stop running but (friends name) kept going and outran us all”. Yet, when I asked them to transfer this to paper I get a sentence more like “at recess today I played with friends”.
Are there any educators out there that find interesting and engaging ways to get students to extend their writing and add descriptive words that really make their words jump off the page? If so, I would love to see some ideas I could try in the classroom.