Okay, I’m now excited for November for two reasons: Time to write something new AND time to walk my students through their first novels… That’s right, I’m doing it, diving in head first and teaching the NaNoWriMo Youth Writing Program. Fortunately, it fits right in with what we’re already teaching this time of year– narrative writing.
Part of why I am so excited is because my students cheered me on last year as I attempted to write a novel in one month. This year, those same kids will get to try it themselves. When I unveiled my master plan to my students this afternoon, they were giddy. The kind folks over at NaNoWriMo will even be sending them a free box of goodies to keep them motivated.
Today we locked up our inner editors. I almost passed on this, thinking it might not be the best use of instructional time, but they had a blast drawing the mean voices inside their heads that keep them from writing. It turns out that even ten year olds have fears of not being great. We’ll need our editors again in December when it is time to revise, but until then, we’re locking them up so we can just get the words out, (good advice for us grown-up writers too!):
It’s funny, I was a little hesitant to teach narrative with NaNoWriMo because it feels like such an epic endeavor to convince fifth graders to pour their attention into novel writing for an entire month. However, day 1 down of preparing their thoughts and I feel like it might be an awesomely memorable part of their year. They’re excited, I’m excited… Wish us luck!
PS. I’m now contemplating making my NaNoWriMo novel targeted at a middle grades/young adult audience. This is completely off-course from my previous plans, but it sounds like fun to write something I can actually share with them while they’re writing…