Thursday, May 3, 2012


So there's a blog of 1,000 Awesome Things that has now been turned into an Awesome book.   What a great idea.   What would your eighth grade self identify as awesome enough to celebrate in writing?

I have to admit that I gave out homework over a weekend, but it was merely for students to ponder on the awesomeness of their world.

Together we examined Neil Pasricha's  Picking the Perfect Nacho Off Someone Else's Plate, Old, Dangerous Playground Equipment and The First Scoop Out of a Jar of Peanut Butter.   I also rattled off a few of the other topics featured in the blog that would be accessible to teens.

We focused on tone, voice, point of view, sensory imagery and audience.   Keep your tone positive and your voice conversational and upbeat.   Use second person point of view to pull your reader in.   Rely on sensory imagery to recreate the awesomeness of your chosen topic to your reader.   And your choice should have broad appeal.   When the majority of people read your entry, they should be able to connect with your topic.

Yes.   Some folks got right down to it when it was time to write.  

And some people sat and sat and sat and sat.   If you are in the latter group of writers, I expect you to have paper on your desk and a pen/cil in your hand.   If after a reasonable amount of time you are still in the latter group of writers, I want you to list the five senses and start brainstorming some favorites.   Usually this does the trick.   Usually.

In giving feedback on the first draft I found that writers needed the most help with crossing over into second point of view and creating a meaty snapshot of their experience.   This is the first year I've tried this activity, so I'll be able to add in more supports for next year.   We had so much fun.   This lesson is a keeper.  

It's also something that I had willing students submit for immediate publication.   I mean, who doesn't want a Wall of Awesome in their classroom?   And that's the thing about trailers's pushpin heaven.

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