I had the chance to join and teach in a First grade writing workshop today. They’ve been learning about opinion writing for a couple of weeks. My mini lesson, a quick review of some of the things persuasive writers include in their writing, was intended to gauge where they are and to give me and the teacher ideas about where these writers might go next as opinion writers. Together, the writers in the class and I composed a quick paragraph on my favorite thing here at school. They helped me write a sentence that clearly stated my opinion. They helped me think of reasons why I had that opinion and then we drafted sentences to state those reasons. And they helped me write an ending sentence. Before they left the mini lesson area, they took a moment to think about what their favorite part of school is (yes- a few chose recess and P.E.) before they gathered their writing materials and set off to draft their pieces.
I spent the remainder of my time in that classroom conferring with individual writers, gauging their comfort and confidence with this kind of writing. And then I got to Robert. Be still my heart I thought as I read his first line, “My favorite part of school is writing.” It was hard not to “ooh” and “ahh” as I continued reading. He included three reasons- it was fun, it helped him learn, and he got to tell his stories. Yay for Robert, and his teachers who’ve helped him discover the joy and benefits of writing. And lucky me- I happened to be in the right place at the right time to read a piece that I won’t soon forget.