We kicked off our “Family Stories” writing unit today, a first time endeavor. I had asked my kids to bring in copies of old photographs so that we could begin digging into and imagining the stories buried in those sepia toned pictures. Things got off to a rocky start when two thirds of my kids couldn’t find a photograph (they’re buried in the attic, in Grandma’s basement, or in a box somewhere in the house). So…Plan B:
Google images…vintage photographs.
After a bit of talking through the process: notice details, key in on expressions on the faces and body language, try to gauge mood and emotion, focus on the perspective of one person who really grabs your attention.
It was slow going at first. My morning class took a while to get into the spirit of the lesson (the curse of period 1, when they are barely awake), but something changed when they began to imagine a perspective and write. That was the point at which they threw themselves into the project and wrote some beautifully evocative “heart of the story” possibilities:
Sometimes (actually, more often than not) they just blow me away….