Monday, March 22, 2010

School Visit

During one of my school visits a while back, I was pleasantly surprised when one little girl in the audience mentioned something I had not noticed before. After the book reading and during the writing process presentation, I showed a few newspaper clippings with pictures of animals doing amusing things. One was of five raccoons in a row drinking water from a puddle in the street of some big city. I use these pictures as writing prompts for the children to get ideas for stories.

The little girl looked at the raccoon picture on the screen pensively (I was using Power Point) and then said. “They are a family of five. You always see only one raccoon at a time. But in that picture, it’s a family all drinking water at the same time.” A family! I had never thought of the picture in that way. All the children nodded. They had smiles on their faces when they thought of the raccoons as a family maybe out on an outing. In the little girl’s eyes, she saw a family, which, of course, it was.

Another amazing thing that happened that day was unexpected. For me, anyway. When someone asked me how I got started as a writer and I mentioned I had won a national writing contest, to my pleasant surprise, they all applauded enthusiastically. They were genuinely happy for me. I was so moved by this crowd of fifth graders. Makes me happy I'm a writer. 

On a different note, have you ever thought about writing as a well-balanced writing diet? Here’s an excellent article from a Writer’s Digest blog by Stephenie Steele and Joe Stollenwerk about creativity. I enjoyed reading it and I think you will too. The article is titled, Flex Your Creative Writing Muscles.”

"The young child's mind is very much like a poet's mind." -- Charlotte Zolotow


  1. Aren't kids wonderful? Glad you had such a great experience! Thanks, also, for the link!

  2. Children never fail to amaze me. They are so genuine and honest. You're welcome for the link. I found it inspiring.