Thursday, March 19, 2009

Writers' Workshop: Kaboom!

Nancy Atwell, an author who popularized an approach to teaching called Writers' Workshop, expected Language Arts teachers to model their own growth as writers by writing along with their students. Teaching at the junior high level for 10 years I did just that. A few days ago I found an old folder with some of my write-alongs.

One day, the students chose a prompt that required us to write a piece with an explosion. I give you my own effort called...


The Crime Scene Investigators had never seen anything like this: there was blood, bone, and brains sprayed on all the walls, the ceiling, even the students' desks. The teacher, Mr. Sanve, was slumped over his desk: headless.

"What do you think, Marion?" asked Detective Ernandes.

"I don't know Brett. It's baffling," replied the detective as he scanned the bloody scene.

"Let's look at the teacher's desk. Maybe there will be some clues there."

They looked for signs of a bullet or a bomb but found none. They did deduce by the spatterings of blood on the clock that the crime had happened at 3:30.

"Hey look," said Detective Brett. "It looks like he was grading papers."

"Yeah. Someone just got an A+. And Snave wrote a comment... It says, 'Great job. This is the best quick write I've ever seen. It's so good it's making my head hurt.'"


  1. Ha!

    *ducks and covers*

    my head feels funny

  2. Chase,

    I hope you don't lose your head!


    PS: My piece gave my students a fun opportunity to discuss inferential thinking.

  3. Hey, that was pretty gory! I'm proud of you. :D

    (It's not right to ewwwww and LOL over the same blog post!)

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on 'On Greed.' I don't know how much of one's worldview is really a choice. Optimism isn't very much in my makeup. (But there is a killer blush-eyeshadow combo :P)

    However, if I keep coming over to read your blog, that should tell you something. :) :)

  4. Thanks Saphron. Occasionally, I do aim for the "ewwwwwww" and LOL in my work. It's makes for a strange mix of fun.