Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lifetime for Sixth Graders

Shadaya shared her story today.
The one she's been writing for days,
scribbling under her desk
as pages and chapters pile up.
She read from the writer's stool today.

The main character was a stripper.

Her audience was captive.
"That's right!" they all agreed.
"No he didn't!" they chorused.
By the end of chapter four
they were demanding a sequel.

In my class
the most passionately written stories seem to involve
rape, murder, domestic abuse...

Last year, after reading about a rape
which seemed to contain far too details
I pulled Cheyanne aside.
It's so realistic. I'm worried about you. How do you know how to write about this?
"Ms. Emily," she exclaimed wide-eyed
"I just watch a lot of Lifetime."

Shadaya has pages of a story she has been inspired to write.
She has an audience who loves her work.

Do I let my class write about whatever they want?
Or are there some stories
eleven year olds are too young to tell?

3 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

i often struggle with this, too.
one of my shorties wrote a brilliant story about a gang member who is looking to get revenge for his mother's murder. he kills many innocent people in his quest...it is violent as hell...but amazingly written.
all of our stories are about murder, guns, knifings, guts and blood.
that is what they know. that is what is in their heads.

girl. you have a tough one...strippers...hmmmmm...
that is why i teach 3rd and 4th grade... : )

10:48 PM  
Blogger madness rivera said...

I only have one kid that age to teach . . . but not too long ago she was all Pimp this and Pimp that. This is pimpin and he's a pimp. And finally I was like do you know what a pimp is? And in her mind it was a player, just a big shot. But I told her in detail what a pimp was including using women as a commodity. And that meant something to her; that there was some tragedy behind the word and the circumstance. I do that with anything she spouts off too grown. I do think when I'm honest with her about what TV and videos and music and adults are flippant about around kids, it disempowers the "coolness" of such things.

But then again, you don't want to squash any creativity and you have a whole classroom to deal with so, in reality, I have no clue what I would do if I were you. Glad I could help.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Quixie said...

Let them tell their story; If they are old enough to live it, they surely are old enough to tell it. If they mispell every other word, by all means correct them, but let them express their selves . . . . not yĆ³ur own social mores.

10:32 PM  

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