Young Writers in Their Dreaming

I got to do the fun stuff with my students when I taught the Gifted and Talented in the 90s. The elementary school kids in the program left their classroom and came to me bright-eyed, bushy-taled. Grounded in the basics, they were ready for a session of poetry or creative writing. Here are some activities the second graders got a kick out of one year. They were reading fairy tales in class so we played with a number of enrichment exercises around the subject of gnomes. We brainstormed the things these creatures might eat and need. See what the kids came up with:

Gnome4
Gnome Foods by Anna

1. Chocolate Mushroom cake
2. Chocolate-covered leaf
3. Jellyfish tuna sandwich
4. Buttercup cake
5. Smashed Grass and Fish Salad
6. Nectar shake

Tap the list on the right to zoom. The word that’s hard to read in no. 5 is cockroach.

Ad for Gnome Furniture

for the Gnome News by Jackie

New. Acorn fillings sofa bed with cotton flower pillow. The pedals help you fall asleep and in the morning they help you wake up rested. And in the night you have no bad dreams. Yours, for only 10 pinecones. Pillows free.

Oh, where are those pinecones?

Gnome Illnesses by Julian

1. Nox Shadis Feveris (Nightshade Fever)
Carrot infusion and agave minted green
Drink 1/2 cup every morning.

2. Lox Gnomigus (Lou Gnomig’s Disease)
Black tea with Meridian grapes
Take 1/4 cup a day after lunch.

3. Gnomhizerus (Gnomheizer’s Disease)
Cyprus fruit with citrus.
Take 1/2 cup five times a day.

============================================
Several years later a private student of mine came up with a Narnian menu Mr. Tumnus the Faun presented Lucy in his cave.  Daniel was in third grade.

Tumnus Café

 Dessert

Cookies n Cream Reindeer Pie with boba nose and cinnamon antlers
Rocky Road Unicone with roasted pink marshmallow shreds
Wildberry Cheesecake topped with sliced acorn and nutmeg
McCherry Sundae with toasted TumFlower seeds
Rainberry muffins with vanilla icing
Strawberry Upside-Down Cake (for birthdays. Please call in advance.)

 Iced Beverages

Snowberry lemonade
Rainbow punch with banana-flavored straws
Snowplum smoothie
Morning dew shake topped with moon peach slices

 Hot Drinks

Green apple cider with star sugar
Fire Diamond milk
Dawn Wind mango boba with dessert dream sprinkles
===========================

Hear the poetry in some of these lines? Young writers at work, frolicking in a field of ideas. What a delicious world they created. Where imagination took these children is the runway of the Shel Silversteins, J.K. Rowlings, Alice Walkers. An old friend reminded me yesterday that English was my second language. I wonder where I’d be now if in the formative years I’d been given the permission and direction away from the glory of grades to dream, just dream. The privilege was to be the one consenting.

31 thoughts on “Young Writers in Their Dreaming

  1. “Priceless” is the word that comes, first . . . and then “privilege” is the second word. The imagination of the young ones is profound. When you say “gifted” … Well, let me simply say that we have a 16 year-old Aspergers boy with a mood disorder. I am sorry to say that we tried getting him into public school twice, and both times it was unacceptable. So, we home school now. Sorry for the rant. Love your post!

    • Thank you for the beautiful, amazing feedback. I’m so glad you’re homeschooling. =) I added what I forgot to, so tired at time of posting:

      Gnome Illnesses by Julian

      1. Nox Shadis Feveris (Nightshade Fever)
      Carrot infusion and agave minted green
      Drink 1/2 cup every morning.

      2. Lox Gnomigus (Lou Gnomig’s Disease)
      Black tea with Meridian grapes
      Take 1/4 cup a day after lunch.

      3. Gnomhizerus (Gnomheizer’s Disease)
      Cyprus fruit with citrus.
      Take 1/2 cup five times a day.

  2. Alas,
    for I have never had the nerve
    to stomach Buleberry and cockroach bars.
    Though decorated with the delightful crunch
    of chitinous roach wing,
    the notion of weeping Bules
    always upon my mind cast
    a horrid, sympathic pall
    whilst munching the otherwise delectable bars.
    Woe for the weeping Bules!

    • Come now, gird they valor
      Life is but one adventure.
      Roach bars, their protein shall
      thy brain fuel supply, to write —
      Ah! Is this not reason enough?
      And if thou shouldst fall ill, these remedies
      from Julian I meant to add now
      on the board shall alleviate thee
      back to hale estate.

      Gnome Illnesses by Julian

      1. Nox Shadis Feveris (Nightshade Fever)
      Carrot infusion and agave minted green
      Drink 1/2 cup every morning.

      2. Lox Gnomigus (Lou Gnomig’s Disease)
      Black tea with Meridian grapes
      Take 1/4 cup a day after lunch.

      3. Gnomhizerus (Gnomheizer’s Disease)
      Cyprus fruit with citrus.
      Take 1/2 cup five times a day.

  3. I didn’t have a teacher who encouraged creative writing until my senior year in high school–and how sad is that? I had a second grade teacher who used to tell us to draw scenes with people in them, then forbid us to draw faces for them because, she said, we couldn’t draw faces well enough! Fortunately, she just frustrated me and didn’t kill my creativity.

    I was always good in English, but it wasn’t until my senior year that I was allowed (and encouraged) to do a creative writing independent study. I will be forever grateful to Mrs. Mischen! Her mission 🙂 in life was truly to be a great educator! I will also always be grateful to my 7th grade English teacher (whose name I’ve forgotten) because she gave us such an excellent grounding in grammar. I learned to love diagramming sentences, and I credit her with my ability to use grammar, punctuation and spelling correctly. I also blame her for the fact that I can’t read a newspaper without mentally correcting the spelling errors in it! 😉

    I didn’t end up being a journalist or an English teacher as I once dreamed of doing, but I still love reading and writing to this day, and I tried to pass that love on to my children and am trying to share it with my grandchildren. I think my teachers would be satisfied.

    • Am so glad to hear your story, M. Those opportunities that came in the hands of your precious teachers are gems in the path behind you. And they light the way for your kids and grandkids. Love it. Diana

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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