September 15, 2016

My Boyfriend!

not-mr-cleanI love Mr. Sketch.  Given the choice between Mr. Sketch and Mr. Clean, duh, Mr. Sketch hands down.  Apparently my Mr. Sketch love has not gone unnoticed by my students.  One of my students drew a happy, green Mr. Sketch marker as a possible character.  Because I need to feel a good deal of love for whatever we are talking about, in order to make the story take off, of course I seized on this amazing gift for our first story of the year!  Part One is here and Part Two is here.

I spent too much time on the exposition – the Who.  My Story Driver needs to drive me harder, I see.  The Story Driver is the best thing to ever happen to me, when it is working well!  It is SO EASY without that job for us to just talk and talk, losing kids’ interest.  Even though I am firmly committed to making the story zip along and have pontificated about that at great length, it is so easy to slip into the cozy sound of my own voice.  Getting that Story Driver to drive me to go in a zippier fashion is going to be my job Tuesday when we do another story.  Monday we will write this story up and therefore the next time I need the Story Driver will be Tuesday.

Gist of the story (only got to one location because of the aforementioned Story Driver issue):  There’s a marker named Mr. Sketch.  She is a woman with the name Mr.  She loves kindergarten rooms.  She is in Forest Park in Portland with a kindergartener.  This kid is naughty.  He screams in class.  He throws markers.  They are on the top of a tall hill in Forest Park.  He screams, “I want to throw you!”  He throws her.

It would have been fun to see where she landed but class was over.

The problem popped up in the addition of the kindergartener.  Of course he had to be a naughty boy!  And there they were on top of a tall hill.  Perfect.  Second character plus location made the problem appear.


This entry was posted in Building a Story, Creating the Problem - Level 5, Liking What You're Talking About, Story Driver, Student Jobs on by .

About Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

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