On Friday, September 30, 2011, I had the honor of visiting with Mrs. Rawlins' 6th grade class at Orchard Elementary School in West Valley City, UT. The class has been reading my book, INSIGHT, together. They finished it the day before, so my dad and I stopped by to give them a 2-hour writing workshop.
What a wonderful group of students and a fabulous teacher. The class was well-structured and knew what was expected of them. They gave great answers during our writing workshop and came up with one of the funniest mad lib I've ever read. Unfortunately, I left the paper behind and it was thrown away, so I can't pass it along to the rest of you.
We spend 30 minutes discussing the components of a good story--how every word plays an invaluable role in a sentence--then everybody took 15 minutes to write their own story. My dad and I wandered around to offer support, then a few students were brave enough to share their stories with the rest of the class.
The stories were fabulous! One specific example that stands out in my mind was about 12-year-old boy who was brave enough to ride the merry-go-round two times in a row. He was so brave that he only screamed for 19 minutes the second time (cutting a whole 60 seconds off the 20-minute wailing during the first ride).
Of course, after the workshop was over, we had to spend some time talking about Beholders. Once again, I got the students debating with each other over who was the "good guys" of the story. The poor Appernysian fans were heavily outnumbered and sat passively with their chins tucked against their chest.
Here's where the rest of you get really jealous. At the end of the workshop, I was so pleased with the students' behavior that I gave them big sneak preview into book 2, TRUE SIGHT. They were so attentive and respectful that I could have heard a pin drop while I read them the majority of chapter 1. They weren't happy when I stopped, but it's probably a good thing I didn't get to the end of the chapter or else they would have been REALLY mad! :)
The best part is that two other 6th grade teachers at Orchard Elementary are reading INSIGHT to their students, which means I get to go back two more times! Can't wait!