I always have a memoir in my reading stack with a book mark about two thirds of the way through. I find that reading memoir takes time. They overwhelm me with intimacy. Writing is always personal, but memoir cuts deeper.
Whenever I start a memoir unit with young students we look for emotional and important moments. This can be difficult for some which made me think that perhaps nine-year olds don’t have enough perspective or experience to access this. But what I’ve come to realize is what may look like failure to write is not necessarily about writing or being a writer. It might not be a place they are ready to go to. Looking back on our last five weeks, I am struck by my students’ bravery.
We notebooked for two weeks, then wrote and published one a week. Each with a celebration of reading and commenting.
Yesterday, I asked students to reflect on their growth as writers. More importantly, I asked them, are you enjoying writing this year?
I want to know how they feel,
and at the same time,
I’m afraid to know how they feel.
Fortunately, responses were positive. For many it is fun and makes them happy. And even when they struggle they have not felt lost. Based on their comments, writing has been instrumental in their community, especially in this year of non contact.
There was this,
it lets me share stories with other people.
I am enjoying it because there are many good stories people write.
And this from a kiddo who said writing was hard,
I enjoy writing about fragment’s of my life and sharing it to other people and also seeing a little of their life.
And then this one. A quiet soul who lost his grandfather to COVID in December,
No and yes. No because the only good ideas I have are the ones that make me the saddest,
and yes because I can share my experience with my classmates.
They remind me of why I have developed friendship through blogging.
They remind me of why writing is so important. For connection, for support. To be humans together.