Writing Workshop Works
We are so proud of our reading and writing curriculum here at Brookstone. We’ve written about it in other posts, but I want to share with you a writing sample for you to read on your own. Leigh Anne Floyd, Intermediate School Principal, shared this sample with the faculty via email:
Students in the fifth grade are working on their unit of study for memoirs in writing workshop with Boofus, and each of our boys and girls are OWNING this genre of writing. Those of you teaching middle and upper school have no idea how much talent and creativity is coming your way! The faculty in the lower and intermediate schools have truly embraced the workshop approach, and they are molding these incredible boys and girls into the most profound readers and writers. Each day our minds are blown by what these students produce. I have attached a memoir IN PROGRESS by one of our fifth graders so that each of you could see that the proof is certainly in the pudding! I can’t begin to put into words how incredibly talented our Brookstone teachers and students are; I just hope the world is ready for what’s coming its way!
Again, the following is a rough draft written by a 5th grader. A FIFTH GRADER! You can click this link to read the PDF version, but the transcript is as follows.
Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. Sometimes my dad seems restless. He is on phone calls all night, he is at work all day, and he is reviewing projects for work in the evenings. But somehow he always makes time for our family and me.
The wind buffeted our hair and rippled our clothing. The sky was a purplish color. The sun blazed like a ball the color of a tangerine. It cast long strips of navy blue ocean to glow. We, my dad and I , were sailing in the Long Island Sound. I was sitting on the right side of the boat, my feet skimming the water. We would occasionally see bright orange jelly fish, but they were harmless. The waves splashed the bow as our boat crashed through them. My dad stood at the stern, the sunlight that outlined him, provided an eerie glow. My dad came to join me on the edge; the water tickled our feet. It was now night time. The stars shone bright above our heads and the moon glowed from behind a misty cloud. It was just us together on our boat named Reveur. We were dreamers.
My dad sprayed me with a blizzard of snow. We were on the mountain top in Snowbasin, Utah. Then we were on the top of the mountain. The beautiful expanse of the mountain range stretched before us. My dad and I were at the top of the slope. Our skis hesitated at the ledge and then we took off. We zipped through the trees playfully. We made sharp turns and abrupt stops, showering snow at each other. The wind pounded against us, but we didn’t care. The snow flew up in bursts behind our skis. My mind went wild as I raced down the slope. Then we were at the bottom as quickly as we were at the top. We decided to go to the ledge and take a break. Our ski boots clunked against the hard floors in the toasty lodge. I sipped hot chocolate while laughing with my dad. The balmy liquid warmed me from the inside out. I looked over the rim of my glass and smiled at my dad, and he returned it with happiness in his eyes.
It was the father daughter dance. There were balloons as big as an elephant’s head. There were giant wine glasses filled with gumballs the color of white and crimson. There were red flower pots with balls of lollipops on top. There was a huge stage were little kids jumped and danced and twirled and spun, with smiles as big as the world on their faces. They locked hands and spun like nothing was wrong in the world, and nothing ever would be. Girls walked in heels and beautiful dresses. My dress was crimson; it fell elegantly to the floor. It was silky and had jewels around the waistline that sparkled like diamonds. My hair was lightly curled and held with a white flower clip. I got my picture taken with my dad; he was wearing a red tie identical to my dress. I went with my friends for a while, dancing and singing and goofing around.
I heard the DJ’s voice call out that it was time for the girls to dance with their dads. I immediately ran to go get mine; my feet thumped across the soft carpet. I took his hands, his blue eyes looked deep into mine. I led him to the dance floor; the song had just begun. I beamed at him, and he shown right back. We began to dance in quiet circles. I rested my head on his chest, and his heart beat strongly. I looked deeply into his eyes; a happy laughter danced in them. I knew at that moment that he was my dad, and I was never letting him go. Never!
In a world full of LOL’s and OMG’s, Snapchats and Insta-everything, how refreshing to read such beautiful, descriptive writing from an 11 year old girl.
At Brookstone, we believe strongly in the importance of producing students who are effective communicators, whether through the words, art or technology. And that starts with being good writers. As Friedrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”
Keep up the good work!