Thursday, July 23, 2009

Teens Rewrite Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken

Yesterday, I conducted a workshop at Lower Macungie Library in Macungie, PA.  With the assistance of ten talented young ladies (including Erin Stephens, Children's Librarian extraordinaire), we rewrote a portion of Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken. To prepare, I briefed the crew in CRAFT vs. CRAP.  Writing is a craft.  "An artful placement of word with intention"as author Lester Laminack says.  We discussed CReating Artful Focused Technique (CRAFT) vs. Chaotic, Random Awful unPlanned (or their acronym for CRAP).

I reviewed the scene:  Best friends Drew and Jackson are cleaning the mouse cages in Mr. Cross' classroom during the first week of school.  Jackson is a smart aleck while Drew fights to remain responsible.  I facilitated, they created.  Here is the product:

            “This really sucks! Why exactly did Mr. Cross give us this job again?” Jackson said. He leaned against the table next to the mouse’s cage.

            “Well, we’re doing this for extra credit. Why do you have to be such a smart aleck?”

            “I didn’t want to do this stupid job. I’d rather be in gym class pumping basketballs for the rest of the day.” Jackson dashed to Mr. Cross’ chair and sat down. He swung his head back and swiveled around.  “You’re such a teacher’s pet, Drew.”

            Drew meandered over to the cage and removed the lid. He picked up a scooper and scooped up a wad of shavings.

            Jackson scooted the chair beside Drew. “I can’t believe you’re actually touching that!”

            “I’m not touching it!”

            Jackson grasped Drew’s wrist and sprinkled the shavings over his head. “Haha! Doodoo head!”

            Drew’s eyes squinted, his face reddened and he clenched his fists. Drew flung his arm across the table. Glass shattered. His eyes glistened with tears. The blood trickled down his hand.

            Jackson shrieked and sprinted across the room.  Mr. Cross appeared in the doorway. Jackson collided with him and fell to the floor.

Kudos to my fantastic crew of Danielle, Isabel, Hirra, Bethany, Veronica, Sarah, Madeleine, Fiona, and Maggie!  Bethany, we accomplished your goal of Drew's anger issues :)  Isabel...has your face regained its color yet?


"Live, Learn, Teach"

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