Monday, November 06, 2006

Cite unseen

Bud's class recently published a First Grade Magazine. Each child in class has one submission, and each submission includes a picture drawn by the child and the typed text of a story written by the child.

Most of the submissions are first-person narratives, and most are variations on a couple of themes. For example, it seems that many first-grade journalists subscribe to the philosophy "if it bleeds, it leads," and the magazine is rife with tales of injury and bloodshed. Jennifer writes of getting a bandaid after cutting herself while jumping on a wet log. Sophie writes of a curling iron burn. Lily writes about her dog's almost-broken leg.

Most of the others are "slice of life" pieces which offer a bit of insight into the child's world beyond the classroom:

"I was in the tree. Dad put a ladder up."

"I got out of the car and went to the apple festival."

"I saw some fire crackers outside my house. My mom was scared. My dad was happy."

"My cat was fighting with my dog. Then my cat just ran down into the cellar."

"I saw a rainbow. I was in Nana's house. It was raining. Then it cleared."

And then there's Bud - not just the only child who opted to write his story in third person, but also the only one who opted for fiction over personal narrative:

One day Bud woke up. He yawned just like Bud. He stretched just like Bud.

"I'm very strong. Wow! I've got to tell Sumbah!"

Sumbah's mom made pancakes. They fell on the floor and squished on everybody. And that's exactly what happened.

The bad news is that Bud pulled a bit of an Opal Mehta with this one and borrowed heavily from an episode of Pinky Dinky Doo.

The good news is that he recognizes the importance of plot, character, and dialogue in his writing.

Perhaps it's time to add to the list of educational acronyms to investigate for children with ASD. We already have RDI, ABA, OT, SLP...

But what about MLA?


Daisy said...

Oh, my, I had a hard enough getting the hang of APA for my graduate program! Snicker. I love that Bud can write an actual sequence of events, though. That's priceless. Did he write it or dictate it?

Anonymous said...

Bud's story is awesome!

I love his opening paragraph: how the "fictional" Bud yawns and stretches just like the real one, but isn't, because this is fiction, after all.

I once read an article about semantic-pragmatic disorder that mentions a kid who was so good at interweaving bits and pieces of existing stories together that he won prizes for creative writing.

kristina said...

Maybe MFA?

Anonymous said...

I was surprised when your link took me to a Purdue website. Are you a Boilermaker?
AgEngr '93

Anonymous said...

I'm not, Linda. Purdue just has a terrific website for writing resources! I use it a lot in class (and, of course, I always cite the source appropriately!)

Anonymous said...

I'd say he's got plot, character, dialogue AND a really amazing command of parallel structure! That's one seriously charming story.