Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

NaNoWriMo-ing with kids

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Today afterschool classes started back up again, and I had a new batch of Novel Writers. I had a couple of returning students, who took my NaNoWriMo class last session, and a few new ones. What I loved about teaching this afterschool class was that I got a group of kids who were already excited to write. It wasn’t really very hard to build on that. And it’s the same this time.

I brought up the topic of building a writing habit, and they jumped all over it, defining “habit,” mentioning that you can have good habits and bad habits, and then describing what it might look like to have a writing habit. A couple of them seemed to have a pretty good plan for when they could fit writing into their daily life. Whether or not they do it if I don’t decide to bribe them with candy in exchange for pages written, time will tell.

I also love doing NaNoWriMo style writing with kids because it’s all about them, and what they want to write. A girl raised her hand and asked, “Do we have to write cursive?” then sighed in relief when I told her she could write however she wanted. We’ll get to the revisions, but for now they just need a story to work on.

We played a game that I learned this weekend at the Destination Imagination theater workshop. I’m not sure if it’s actually called this, but I called it “Yes! and…” It’s a cooperative story game where one person says a statement, then the next person says, “Yes! and…” and adds their own statement, going on around the circle like this. I like it because by having to say “yes!” you are automatically reaffirming the previous persons’ idea, essentially forced to take the wacky story in stride, and then you add something of your own. The kids begged me not to stop after we’d gone around the circle a few times and it was time to talk about something else.

Best part? I was totally swamped and discombobulated today, and hadn’t planned the class at all. I was totally winging it. Apparently kids who sign up for a class called “Novel Writing” aren’t the type of kids to cause much trouble 🙂


Written by nikkinbird

January 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

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