Reading the Writer’s Jungle
Brave Writer mom, Jennifer, writes:
Thank you so much for doing the [Writer’s Jungle] webinar. I was not able to participate live, but just finished watching the replay. I have owned a copy of The Writer’s Jungle for years but never got around to reading it or implementing it in our homeschool. Why was I hesitant? What was my fear? As a writer, I totally do all the things that you recommend. But as a teacher, I honestly felt it was too loosey-goosey for my teaching style. I wanted clear instructions to follow. I wanted step-by-step writing assignments. So instead of just doing something…I did nothing. (Ok…not nothing…we regularly do poetry tea time, read alouds, discuss books, observe writing, talk about words, read Shakespeare, watch Shakespeare, but I don’t feel that we write enough. After watching your webinar, perhaps I need to rethink that. 😉 )
One way to make sure I started doing more writing with my 12 year old son was to make myself accountable. I was approached by a couple of mothers in our music co-op about the need for a middle school writing class. After thinking it over, I agreed to put a class together. Next I had to decide what curriculum to use in my class. I pulled out my copy of The Writer’s Jungle and finally started reading it. After going through the first couple of chapters, I skipped to the Appendix where you map out a course of study for each level. This was exactly what I needed and didn’t realize was in there! I was able to easily pull together a semester’s worth of writing assignments and activities. Thank you for including that in the book. I only wished I’d known about it sooner. Hopefully others who watched the webinar won’t wait so long to implement your great ideas.
My class meets for 90 minutes once a week. I have 8 students including my son. We just finished our 4th week. We’re doing the eight week freewrite project. We’ve played the communication game (which they loved). We did limericks and tongue twisters. We did a keen observation exercise. They wrote lovely paragraphs about their pets full of amazing details. We had cupcakes and lemonade and tore apart Jabberwocky just yesterday. My son (and others) have said how much they enjoy the class. It is their favorite thing all week! But I cannot take credit for much of it because the ideas are all coming from your book and your blog. Thank you!
Thanks again for all that you do! What a blessing Brave Writer is to families everywhere.
All my best,