Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A New Generation of Writers

My district long ago adopted writing and reading workshops championed by Lucy Caulkins and Katie Wood Ray. The cornerstone of the writing workshop is that it is grounded in personal experience. For the most part I am in total agreement with this philosophy. However, I cannot wholly commit to an idiology that would have quashed the following story arc as related to me by my 8 year old daughter:

Daughter: So, Jade is writing this story about a cat that is missing one leg.
Me: Really. How did the cat lose its leg?
Daughter: Well, it had this thing hung around its neck. You know, those things on the top of cans.
Me: Pause Ring pulls?
Daughter: No, you know, you use that thing and you take off the top of the can. What is that?
Me: Kinda' getting it but still thinking rationally You mean the cat has a can top hanging around its neck?
Daughter: Yeah, and it has jagged edges.
Me: Still trying to remain in the land of logic So who put it there? Its owner?
Daughter: No. The cat is a stray. It just liked the can top so wears it.
Me :Trying to imagine how a cat would punch a whole in the can lid, put it on a string and then tie a knot in it And...
Daughter: Well, the cat was walking and a car came by in the road and knocked the cat to the ground. The tin can top rolled over her body and chopped her leg off.
Me: Wow, really? That is a really interesting plot line.

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