Monday, February 10, 2014

Retrieving all I know

When starting a story, it is so easy just to write, to produce the stream of unconsciousness that I have already talked about. The number of children who say, “I’m ok, I can do this without planning,” or, “I find it easier without planning it first.”
What they are really saying is, ‘I have got in the habit of just writing and got away with it up until now and no-one has stopped me, so why should I change a habit I have developed? What is the incentive for me?’
The incentive is better stories, better writing and better grades, but that is something the child may not appreciate until others in their class is doing just that and they are being left behind. What I am hoping is they will start to see the standards of writing I am showing here and realise others ARE planning and creating pieces of work of higher levels.
So here is one of just such a story, written after working with Dad on thinking through the process of ‘all I know’. The piece was from the comprehension, A Japanese Family, and is the ‘ideas for writing section’.
His Dad and he went for a walk and thought about all he knew about the country, Japan, being poor and having little food or belongings; having to work all the hours of sunlight and how this would change his life if he had to live it. He was thinking about the situation and creating a set of images which he could relate to and utilised everything he knew. After planning, he then produced this piece. Not only will you hear his knowledge coming through but you will also see he has used the comprehension itself to lead him and give him ideas.
Hello, my name is Akikro and I am the eldest child in my Japanese family. I hate my life, but I have to do all this hard work. My dream is to make more money and to do whatever I want. I have hobbies, such as sport, but I never get to do any of that and I feel sad about it. This is my life and I have to deal with it.
In the morning, at 6.30am my entire family have to get up, burdened with completing the household chores. At 7.30am I have to take my sister to school, but we don’t look forward to it because its just one classroom full of dust. Even the paint is peeling off the walls. It is very hard to concentrate. No playtime, just maths and literacy. After five hours of hard school work, I take my sister home. I feel sorry for her; she is so young and does so much work.
When we get home I ask my Grandma if she has improved the land for better crops, but all she says is, “I have made some wholesome food for you, but that’s all.”
After I have put on my wellies, I go outside to help my Dad fishing. All I like about fishing is throwing the line, I don’t like taking the hook out of the fish’s mouth, but I am determined to get over it. We don’t have any companions or allies to help us fish, so it’s just me and Dad.
When I go to bed, I dream about becoming a better fisherman, ‘to improve the quality of my life’.
So that’s my day, and guess
What the next day, I just do it
All over again!

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