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.
I remember as a child we used to bring in and discuss current events. What I wouldn’t give to remember what some of our conversations were around the day’s news cycle. Each day we are living what will become history for someone else. We treasure primary sources that reflect on the personal meanings extracted from world and local events. We could help our students (and ourselves) be creators of those primary sources. We can document not only the current events, but our unique personal perceptions at this moment in time. This can be tricky because of our polarized society, so if national news is too controversial for your students, give it a try with local news (although that’s not free from controversy) OR remember quick writes do not need to be shared, so invite students to reflect personally on events without the fear of judgment or reprisal from others. Use newspapers, magazine covers (Time or Time for Kids are great), or a news video clip to SPARK our students’ thinking.
Here’s a headline quick write I wrote recently:
I want to remember important stories, but also document in real time how I felt about events. Our thoughts and reactions can change over time as we gain perspective or more information comes to light. I think it would be fascinating if we helped our students understand that they are living through history and encouraged them to connect with it. A 5 minute quick write could be that first step.