Monday, June 4, 2012

Neighborhood Map

So, one of the new strategies I've learned about is using quick writes with your kids.  A quick write is not a writing prompt.  It is a way to generate ideas for your writing.  One that we tried out that was really fun was the neighborhood map.  One of our teachers modeled on the whiteboard how she created her own neighborhood map.  She had drawn out a map of her neighborhood from her childhood.  This can be any neighborhood that you've lived in (even your current).  She drew stars and told us stories as she shared her map.  The star signified special stories that she could tell from her neighborhood growing up.  We were then asked to draw our own neighborhood map.  We put stars in places on our maps that brought to mind special stories (past or present).  We turned and talked about it with a neighbor.  The cool thing that our neighbor was instructed to do was to tell us one place on the map that they wanted to know more about.  My neighbor asked me to explain why I thought my neighbors growing up were rednecks!  Wow!  I then had to think of how to share more of that story with her.  It turned out that the story I wrote was not what I expected to write.  I may have chosen my mudpie story to tell instead or the story of my girlfriends who lived down the street.  I loved this idea and it generated many ideas for writing!

Here is the story that I wrote:
OK.  So I thought that my neighbors were weird.  In Tennessee, we'd call them rednecks.  I remember the backyard that was just dirt, the dogs running the path around the perimeter of the fence, the loud yelling mother, and the millions of children that were always dirty and didn't ever have their hair brushed.  AKA-The Herdmans.  So.  problem is-they weren't the ones with issues...obviously, I was.  They had tons of My Little Ponies.  So many, that they wouldn't even know if they were missing one (in my first grade brain).  Note to self at age 7, "You've been paddled by the principal-not a good idea to try to steal your neighbors My Little Pony."  So, you know, I took the pony.  After that, I was so guilt-ridden that I scoured my house for all of the toys I didn't want that I thought they needed. :)  The pony was not returned.  But I did leave a bag of toys on their front porch step.  Guilt not gone.  Gave the pony to my sister for her birthday.

If you'd like more ideas for quick writes you can use in your classroom, check out this book by Donald Graves.  It offers more than sixty new ideas to implement in your classroom for quick writes!
If you'd like a picture book to read along with your neighborhood map, The Map Book, by Sara Fanelli is a great example!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Shepherd said...

Cute story! Love the twist at the end. I'd like to hear more about your interactions with the redneck neighbors. :)