Thursday, October 25, 2012

Carrie Harris classroom visit take 2

Last year Carrie Harris, author of the epically funny Bad Taste in Boys and the soon-to-be released Bad Hair Day, came to visit my 6th graders at the end of the year to give an author talk. But I recently had a conversation with Carrie and told her I thought it would be awesome if she could come in October this year and do her Monster Prom writing workshop with my class before NaNoWriMo. Not only would it be awesome to have a published author come and do a writing lesson with them, but it would also help to give them ideas and motivation to do the Young Writer's Program of NaNoWriMo. And being the awesome person Carrie is, she agreed. So that is what happened in my classroom today.  And it was amazing. The kids were engaged and enthusiastic, and they came up with some brilliant ideas.

Carrie started the workshop by having students brainstorm types of monsters in groups. They were asked to defy convention and create new and unusual types or combinations of monster. Students wrote down their own ideas as well as the ideas from the people in their group. My favorite monster of the day was Santa Claws.

Next, they were to pick one of the monsters on their list and write interesting and unusual traits about their character: like maybe their vampire-like creature doesn't like blood and only eats organic produce.

I don't want to give it all away because, well, you just have to experience a Carrie Harris writing workshop to truly appreciate how much fun it is, but I am certain that based on their experience today, many more students than usual will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. And given the fun, crazy ideas they came up with, I can't wait to read their stories!

My students hard at work making a welcome poster for Carrie

The epic zombie/monkey/ice cream post my students made

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