For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.
Words are a vessel for meaning. A single word can conjure up thoughts, stimulate memories, and/or stir emotions. Providing a single word as a quick write spark can demonstrate the power of a single word. It need not be profound like Patriotic, it can be as simple as Chair, in which thoughts of snuggling with a loved one, or shopping for a family one, or being forced to sit in one as punishment might be conjured in a flash.
You can find words in a dictionary, randomly point to one in a text, or use my friend Jennifer Laffin’s Word of the Day on her TeachWrite Facebook Page. She also has an Email List with tips, ideas and inspiration for teacher writers. Here’s a word from one of her recent posts and my quick write:
Is it an action or an identity? Are they separate. I suppose I could rebel at an idea that I found unsavory without being an outright rebel. But there are certainly times when I feel like a rebel. When we are discussing our upcoming state tests I feel like a rebel because I care so little about those results. I’ve been working with teachers on an ASSESSMENT PREPARATION unit the past week or so but my attitude has certainly rebelled against the conventional thinking. I see these types of tests as a genre of reading. So my goal is to help teach students the skills and strategies to be successful with a genre that they must read at least once a year. I think of it as functional reading/writing. The way we want to teach students to read a recipe, or directions, or schedules, etc. we can teach them to read a state test. And then I think about the results as how well they can simply read THAT genre and not a larger measure of their skills as a reader, because COME ON!! That is not the type of reading I care about or that matters, and I am hoping there are other rebels out there who feel the same way. Maybe one day we will have—-
So as you can see, one word can open up a can of proverbial worms! Also, I stopped after 5 minutes, MID SENTENCE. That is what I ask kids to do as well. The idea being that they can pick up that idea at any time without experience writers’ block. Works every time.
Let me know if you try this spark. What word did you choose?