Every Day Happenings

Through my work, I have noticed that young children, kindergartners especially, are enthusiastic about their writing.  They have fewer life experience, yet are content to write about ordinary, every day happenings.

Beverly Cleary is a master of writing every day experiences that kids relate to with her Ramona Quimbly series.  Abby Klein, author of the Ready Freddy series, has grasped the same concept.  Tomie dePaola shares everyday experiences from his life as a kid in the 26 Fairmont Avenue series.

As teachers, we need to be aware of modeling every day happenings in our writing.  The struggling writers are the ones who say, “I don’t have anything to write about.”  They have every day experiences, but don’t see those as being important.  How often do we model the ordinary happenings in the day-to-day life for our children?

One tried and true touchstone text for me is When Sophie Gets Angry  by Molly Bang.   The book is based on a sisterly argument that enrages Sophie.  Molly Bang creates vivid illustrations of how we often want to explode when we are furious.  Children connect to this story line; they’ve lived it.

Savorings in reading and for writing for When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry:

  • Magic of Three  with sentences – “She kicks.  She screams.  She wants to smash the world to smithereens.”
  • Alliteration
  • Interweaving of Detail – character action, character thinking/feeling, character dialogue
  • Problem and Solution
  • Structure – For younger students, this book sets up the flow of a story that they can follow.
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2 Responses to Every Day Happenings

  1. Ruth says:

    so very very true — it’s these simple ordinary moments that make the best stories. that’s why i started my personal blog — to capture the ordinary moments that somehow add up to big meaning.

    btw — i can relate to sophia today. 😉

  2. […] a series based on everyday events between a boy and his dog, Henry and Mudge.  As in an earlier blog, kids have simple experiences that are worthy of writing.  Most children have pets and have […]

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