The title of today's blog post comes from Brandon -- a Grade Five student at Michelangelo International Elementary School in Rivière-des-Prairies. I was talking about writing when Brandon raised his hand and asked, "You mean a good story should come from the heart and what you've experienced?" Exactly, Brandon!!
This was my third visit to MIES, and my sixth visit to RDP (I've also made three visits to East Hill Elementary which is just a few blocks away). This morning, I worked with Madame Nadia and Miss Giulia's Grade Five classes. The students were wonderful -- focused and fun.
Before I even got started, a student named Nathaniel Cabral announced, "I want to be an author when I grow up." Usually, when I write about students in my blog entries, I don't use their last names. But I decided to use Nathaniel Cabral's. That's because when he makes it as an author, I want you to be able to say, "Hey, I read that first on Monique's blog!"
If you know me, you know that I collect interesting names, interesting body language and interesting hairstyles (all to use with characters in my future books). Well, a student named Florianne supplied all three! First of all, I've never heard the name Florianne before -- and I like it. Secondly, I caught Florianne twirling her pen as if it was a baton (cool body language) and thirdly, she has a very hip hairstyle. (You can check out Florianne's hairstyle in today's pic -- that's her in the middle of the front row.) Florianne was wearing her hair in a bun, and one half of the top of her head is shaven. Definitely book-worthy!!
A student named Angela got excited when I told her my mom had gone to the same school in Amsterdam as Anne Frank -- they were both in grade seven, but in different classes. It turned out that Angela, and another student named Mateo, had done projects on Anne Frank. Impressive!
During a writing exercise I gave the kids, a student named Samuel wrote something interesting and funny about a memory from when he was five years old. Samuel gave me permission to share his work: "I said something bad, but I didn't know what it meant, but I got into trouble." Samuel, I love that story. Your writing makes me feel sorry for the kid you were, but it also makes me laugh. You should write up that story with more details. Other people will love it too!
A special thank you to the students for being amazing, to your teachers for sharing you with me, and to librarian Miss Ida for juggling so many schedules to make my visits to MIES and East Hill work. To all the young writers out there, march over to the dollar store, buy a journal like the one I showed you -- and make writing a HABIT. Love from Monique