Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Memories with Strong Emotions

Week of August 19, 2012: Finding Stories Within
Wednesday, August 22—Memories with Strong Emotions

I like to use a memoir unit to begin each year of writing with my students. A story about oneself is the easiest to write—you were there, you know the details, you know the setting, you are familiar with all the characters, and you remember the emotions associated with the story. My friends Kelly McMinnis and Sharon Waite wrote the unit that I use and I’ve adapted it for my students (as teachers always do). Today’s idea-gathering sheet was inspired by an activity in that unit.

Children’s writers often write about childhood with cotton-candy sweetness. But just like cotton candy, those stories often dissolve (and resolve) rather easily. Childhood is filled with a variety of emotions—both good and bad. So it only makes sense that the stories from our lives would have varied emotions and that the picture book stories we write would represent various emotions.

Use the sheet below to track some of those emotional stories from your childhood. Who knows, you may tap into an emotion that will inspire a best-selling picture book!

My Childhood Memories with Strong Emotions













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