Monday, November 16, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Year 10

This week is our last with Year 10. I was hoping to have a farewell party for my Year 10 Book Club members, but they will be doing a robotics activity in the library until well into lunchtime. Still, I've decided to bring some goodies anyway. And I've spoken to some of them already.

I remember most of them as Year 8 students - not all, because we've had new students come to us, but most. That was the last time we were able to do our Year 8 Community Project. They still have something by that name, but it doesn't involve fundraising for charity. It doesn't involve any community outside the school.

I will be sad to see them go. They're great kids!

And today was my last class with my Year 10 Creative Writing students. I still have the Year 9 kids for another couple of sessions. But I'm sad to say goodbye.

Because it was their last session, I skipped the usual group story reading and tried something else. I printed out a bunch of folk songs that had stories to them, read and discussed and pointed out that some of them had already been used in fiction, eg "Sweet Polly Oliver"(Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment) and "Tam Lin"(Pamela Dean's novel of the same name). They're a great place to go for story ideas. Not a bad thing when you're suffering a bit of writer's block!

After we'd read and discussed some, I asked them to go online and listen to the songs on YouTube. Then I asked if they could do a story outline using one of those folk songs as an inspiration.

It was an interesting business. I fully expected Marwa to be interested in "She Moved Through The Fair", as it's a ghost story and she's a ghost story writer, but she chose the murder ballad "Lily Of The West", as did Tez, who so enjoyed the tune that she was bopping away to Joan Baez as she wrote her outline. Mind you, Tez being Tez, the murder didn't quite happen. Not as it did in the ballad, anyway.

Tamar went for "Sweet Polly Oliver".  She in fact listened to several versions before deciding she liked Kate Marshall's best.  She and Marwa were discussing the various versions and which they preferred.

Anthony chose "The Twa Corbies", which apparently he and Marwa had studied in English and I pointed out the difference between that and "Three Ravens".

He did fizzle out and asked if he could do something else, as I had suspected he would, but it was late in the session and I said, "Next week."

All in all an interesting session and the kids enjoyed it, I think.

No comments: