Prompt-ober: Wire Writing
Happy October and welcome to fall! Since our classroom snapshot feature was so successful last month (thank you to all the contributing voices!), we are running another regular feature this month focused on sharing writing activities that we or our students have found particularly engaging. Please check in daily to enjoy our Prompt-ober posts. If you are interested in contributing one yourself, please contact us!
Early in the school year I give my students a piece of wire about 8-10 inches long (I purchase this in the bracelet making section of any craft store) and I ask them to shape it into something that is meaningful to them or representative of them. This idea was inspired by a writing activity I engaged in at the PAWLP summer institute where the instructors gave us a piece of playdough and similar instructions. I give my students ample time to play with the wire and shape/reshape until they feel confident in their design. While they do this, I welcome conversation and meander around with my own wire checking in and talking with students.
When time is up, I invite a quick pair share of shapes before we study and discuss a short mentor text titled “My Life has Been like a Basketball Game.”
Then students write about their shape and how or why it is important or similar to their lives. They conjured up memories to explain and make connections to musical instruments, game controllers, pets, vehicles, etc. After we write, we take a gallery walk and make connections to/comment on each other’s shapes.
Finally, as a reflection I ask students to consider how this activity is like the writing process. Together, through conversation, we realize sometimes we get ideas right away and just spend time polishing those ideas – like the students who knew right away what shape to make and spent their time perfecting them. Other times we have to go through several drafts before we settle on something – like the students who created four or five shapes before finally picking one. Sometimes we have to talk to others, sometimes we have to see what other people are doing, sometimes we have to just sit and think, sometimes we have to consult mentor texts, and all the time our ideas and writing are developing and changing throughout the process.