with Michelle Cameron
Today we talked about our tasting words. Our word collection is growing nicely.
Several of the children had completed their stories from last week or had stories to share. Several of
the completed stories did a nice job of incorporating the sense details we discussed last week as part of
the treasure box. We talked about having great ideas in our heads and the fact that we sometimes
don’t get them down on paper. And one of the stories was a perfect segue-way into our discussion
We started out by reading a picture book with the deliciously naughty protagonist, Jake, in Simon
James’s The Day Jake Vacuumed. As we read, we discussed how the illustrator gave us clues to Jake’s
personality, anticipated what might happen next, and what the kids would do if all parental controls
were lifted. (Don’t worry – Jake gets his come-uppance at the end!)
Then we talked about characters – the fact that they don’t have to be human, that, like Jake, they
can do naughty things (but just on paper), and that they are not the same people as the writer.
Our writers were given large sheets of paper and, after closing their eyes and picturing a character, were told to begin a drawing.
They were then asked the following questions:
1. What’s the character’s name?
2. How old are they? (can be just born, can be a zillion years old…)
3. Do they have brothers and sisters? List them.
4. What color is their hair? (If they don’t have hair, what color is their fur, or scales, or skin?)
5. What color are their eyes? (How many do they have?)
6. Where does the character live? (It could be an imaginary place or planet.)
7. What do they like MOST to eat?
8. What do they HATE to eat?
9. Do they have an enemy? What’s the enemy’s name?
10. Do they have a secret? What is it?
11. What do they WANT? (We talked about what Harry Potter and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
wanted. I explained that every character must want something and that’s where the story
After completing their drawings and answering the questions, they described their characters, and I
was happy to see a nice mix of imaginary, animal, and human characters.
We then launched into writing the day’s stories. We wrote until the end of class and I encourage them
all to complete their stories over the course of the week. (And if they did finish, they should write a
“Part 2”). We’ll share their stories at the beginning of class next week.
This week’s word collection should be action words – verbs, if possible.
I can’t wait to hear their stories next Monday! Have a great week, everyone.