monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

1 minute reading time (278 words)

Working With Budding Young Writers at Hebrew Academy

This morning, I worked with a group of grades five and six students at Hebrew Academy here in Montreal. (It's part of a project organized by the Quebec Writers' Federation. The students have been specially picked and they get to work with a poet, a journalist, and a children's writer. As you may have surmised, I'm the children's writer!)

Anyway, they were a very keen group, and I HARDLY EVER had to tell them to keep it down. This morning, we worked on ways to develop a fictional character. I'm going to do two more workshops with them -- next week, we'll work on setting; then in the final session, we'll handle dialogue.

Anyway, though they only had ten minutes for actual writing, the students came up with some pretty amazing stuff. Here are some of my favourite examples: A student named Charlie wants to write a story about a boy who has to pass a vocabulary test before he gets to play in the next big hockey game. The problem is Charlie's character cares a lot more about hockey than he does about vocabulary! A student named Shira came up with the idea of writing about a girl named Penelope Prune who gives away the secret that there's a surprise party for her teacher. Poor Penelope! I like her already! And a student named Joelle came up with an intriguing first line for her story: "I walk down the hallway and everyone runs away." 

Pretty impressive, no? Watch this blog on the next two Tuesdays to find out how these young writers are doing. Hope you're having a great day. Feels like spring here in Montreal. Bye for now!! 

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Comments

Guest - Kim on Tuesday, 01 April 2008 23:34

I think there's something with characters who suffer misfortunes that makes them more appealing to readers... if the story's well told. As you've said so often, reading a story about a character whose life is perfect isn't all that interesting. I also like the opening sentence of Joelle's story. Maybe you could tell us the next sentence next week

I think there's something with characters who suffer misfortunes that makes them more appealing to readers... if the story's well told. As you've said so often, reading a story about a character whose life is perfect isn't all that interesting. I also like the opening sentence of Joelle's story. Maybe you could tell us the next sentence next week :D
Guest - tamar on Wednesday, 02 April 2008 02:58

hope you enjoyed the children! some of them went to my class and/or took a drama class I offered...
let me know if you work with sara G. riva, um.. who else? deena and justin s.
those are all i can think of at the moment

hope you enjoyed the children! some of them went to my class and/or took a drama class I offered... let me know if you work with sara G. riva, um.. who else? deena and justin s. those are all i can think of at the moment
Guest - Rachel on Wednesday, 02 April 2008 03:31

My mom teaches english to kids in grades 1-6 and she always tells me about the amazing ideas they come up with for stories. Why are there no children's stories published written by children?

My mom teaches english to kids in grades 1-6 and she always tells me about the amazing ideas they come up with for stories. Why are there no children's stories published written by children?
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