Yesterday of course was Halloween, and so I took the opportunity to hold a "special" freewriting. Usually the rules of freewriting are that there are no rules. As long as things are basically, tolerably school appropriate (I suggest to my kids that the Freedom Writer's Diary is a good guide), the topic is wide open. Yesterday, though, I met my kids with Reese Pieces Butter Cup and the Five Senses--sight, sound, touch, smell and TASTE. The idea was that we went through each sense, to build vivid description in our writing. Even in this quick exercise, I was delighted by some of the results. One ESL student, who is always game to try but struggles with standard ESL issues, wrote that the sound of chocolate "makes your ears perk up like a dog who hears his master". Another wrote that "When you first eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, it is like your away on a vacation all by yourself sitting in a hot tub spring...it tastes like the world has stopped for you." One of my girls, a naturally gifted writer, said the sound of chocolate was the "sounds of screaming children craving more".
I loved it and will work to find more devices like this to bring out the fun and creativity they naturally have. When encouraged to think in terms beyond just description in terms of sight, the images began to shine.
And hey, maybe if I write Reese's, they'll sponsor us! Bring on the laptops for EACH KID!