I used to see my students narrowly as little readers and writers. Tottering mini people who turned pages too slowly and sometimes forgot to monitor by meaning. When I had my own, my lens widened and I saw them as the complicated little humans they are. You know, with feelings and all of that.
But now, Ellie is a budding reader and writer.
Aaand, I’m back to the narrow view, but this time it’s trained on my own kid.
Yesterday on the way out of school, Ellie grabbed a coloring sheet with some pigs on it – two big, three little. She hopped in the car and started coloring. Then she said:
“Mom, this is going to be for my story. It’s about a pig that is born to the wrong family cause the mom got the wrong egg. I read a book like this at school, but it was ducks.” Oh my gosh, she’s using a mentor text to model her story after.
I kept my cool, “Oh? Writers do that sometimes. They get inspired by books they love. Can you tell me the words of your story?”
“Sure! One day there was a little pig…I, I mean a big pig,” Gasp! She’s revising!
“And she laid eggs. Then, the egg got a little crack in it. An ear popped out! Then another ear popped out!” Holy shit, she’s adding tension!
“Boop! Out popped the pig. But it didn’t look like the other pigs, so it had to find it’s family,” *Cringe* She thinks all families have to look alike. But the onomatopoeia!
“So the pig found a cave and there was a swarm of sleeping bats,” A swarm? A swarm? Genius! And more tension!
“Then the pig saw a hole. It looked in the hole and found it’s family! The end.” Ok, peddling back the genius comment, but I love it!
Peter Johnston might not approve, but I clapped wildly, shouting “Hooray! Hooray! Great story, honey! I love it!”
Next step for mom: Widening that lens again to work on that well-rounded human thing. We’ll be reading some books about all the ways families can go and some sort of mammals 101.