For the current theme of IDENTITY, I thought a perfect writing workshop project would be to learn about memoirs, and then to write one of our own. We've been reading a lot of picture books that are memoirs, like When I Was Young in the Mountains. The chapter book we've been reading together is also a memoir, The Year of the Book. Today, I read memoirs written by real 4th grade students from another school. So far, we've learned that characteristics of a memoir are:
* a memory; a description of an event from the past
* written in the first person
* based on the truth
* focused on one event
* tells more about the author's experience, more that the event itself
Yesterday during Writer's Workshop, we brainstormed some possible ideas. We did this by thinking about places we've been, things we can do, games we know, favorite things, and interesting people. Many students created an "idea web":
Today, students selected one of their ideas and began fleshing it out to make a story.
Here are some writers in action. It takes a lot of thinking to make sure the story will be interesting and lively. Oh - and we've been calling this "Minty Memoirs" because we get to chew mint gum and peppermint candies to keep us focused on the task at hand!