Having a class or a workshop at your home can be tough. On one hand, it is wonderful because once a week the house gets a thorough cleaning, but on the other hand, there is the worry that the children like it, and are getting something beneficial from it.
I was a bit worried after our momentum was a bit off due to absences from illness. One thing I have learned from participating in several of these workshops is once the momentum is lost, it is very hard to regain.
This week I was inspired by our read aloud, Catherine Called Birdy. The main character, Birdy, dreams of being a minstrel rather than a lady and she tries her hand at songwriting. Throughout the book are her songs, or poems. The children in our group have fictional pieces in development. They are adding illustrations and have developed a strong protagonist. Adding something unexpected to the story, like a poem or a song, may be something they want to explore.
I pulled out one of my many books on writing, Immersed in Verse, and read up on poetry exercises. I wrote one sentence in my journal and we passed the journal around each adding to it. Next I took a piece of paper, wrote down a sentence, folded it over and passed it on so that the previous person does not see the sentence before. When we were finished we shared the poems and our feeling about the process. Overall, the group decided that they enjoyed the folded paper exercise best because it allowed them to write freely without the confines of the previous sentence. They wanted to try again with a new topic. So we did!
When our creative juices were really flowing, we took out our notebooks and laptops and began to write. Some children asked to take a break from their story and do a quick write instead. I took a line from one of our group poems, “I hate it when something good comes to an end.”. We all began with this line and interpreted it very differently.
At the end of our 90 minute session we had three poems and a completed (if not edited) piece of writing to show for our efforts. The girls talked, laughed, and left workshop with big smiles on their face. The feeling of joy stayed with me all day. In fact, it became the inspiration for my next art journaling page....