Thursday, September 08, 2016

8B's Aussie Identity

Last week, we went to the computer room and I asked all the students to write a blog post which would begin with "I remember..." It should have something in their memories about Australia and their place in it.

I figured that at the very least they could always write about "I remember..." - something I discovered in a book about writing by Kate Grenville. If you find yourself with writer's block there's one area where you can always get ideas and that's writing about yourself.

But just in case, I wrote a page about my own memories, to give them some idea of what I had in mind.

All but two of them wrote a decent-length piece; of the others, one was absent and the other kept changing his mind and ended up,with three lines. He was capable of doing better. I know; I've read his other work. I guess he just wasn't in the mood - and not planning on doing the "h" word either!

The rest of my class delighted me with their choice of memory. My favourite was the boy of Maltese background who was remembering his first taste of Australian breakfast foods at a school "pyjama day." And his first taste of sausages on the same day. And his reaction to mustard! With a little editing, that one is fully publishable.

Another one described the aroma of meat on the family barbecue, and the pleasure of going shopping for it with his father.

 It was a shortish piece, but said what the author wanted to say. I did edit it a little, but the rewrite he did yesterday was not quite as good as I'd hoped. Still, the boy is a good writer and I won't harass him for more.

The two boys who hadn't written their pieces were there when I took the class yesterday. One wrote his own piece about barbecues, which needs work, the other was not well and shouldn't have been at school. However, I asked him to read some of the other pieces to get some idea of what I had in mind and he said afterwards that he had an idea as a result. I will have to give him a little time on Monday to finish; he won't do it at home and really needs me to sit with him and encourage, being the weakest in the class. With help, he produced a nice recipe for hamburger in the class magazine.

Monday we need to work on "the stolen children" and "indigenous contributions to the language." But I'll try to find time!


Crystal Collier said...

I love teaching kids, but sometimes getting them to write can be like pulling teeth. My youngest boy isn't interested. I keep telling him it's an important skill and trying to find subjects that interest him, but some kids are just harder than others, right?

Sue Bursztynski said...

Right! :) That's why I chose a subject that anyone can write about. But even so, there is one class member who just can't focus on it.