Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Writing Wednesday: Reflection Through Writing

A side benefit of being a reader is that you can become a more empathetic person, correct? There is the whole books as windows, mirrors, and doors conversation, thanks to Rudine Sims Bishop. (Read more HERE.) However, I think writing can help us develop empathy in a variety of ways. Today in my classroom I got to see one of them.

Each day during the first half of Language Arts class we do several activities. We read independently, I confer with kids. There is a book talk by a student. We share a picture book for Classroom Book-A-Day. And finally, we have a quick write. I’ve written about the power of quick writes many times. I think that through quick writes I can show my students who live in this tiny rural town the bigger world. We use images, pieces of texts, and videos to inspire our quick writes. Hands down, the students' favorite quick writes are from videos.

This year’s class is unique in that they’ve begun sending me things they want to write from for our quick writes. Last week  a student sent this video to me and asked if we could use it.

We did on Monday.

I can’t explain why that it was a big deal for that student to send me that video, but suffice to say, I was beyond moved that he did.

Last night I came across this video put out by Budweiser.

I knew I would be using it for a quick write.

Today I shared it with three classrooms of seventh graders. Each time I shared it, I teared up, as did many students. We talked about how it inspired us to think of our legacy. Many studnets wrote about how it reminded them of Monday’s video. That Dwyane Wade had to value himself before he was able to succeed and pay his good fortune forward.

My favorite conversations called back to this video from Hank Green at the start of the year.

From that video I always pull the quote from Green of, “You make you.” Today I reminded each class of that. I pointed out Wayne’s legacy. I asked them what they thought their legacy would be. I asked them to write about if they were happy with what people would have to say about them if they were on a video like this. I asked them if they wanted to change anything. And I reminded them that if they did, they were the ones that had the power to change it.

Writing in our class each day allows each student the chance to reflect about themselves or those around us. It is powerful. It makes us better people. While I love writing in the fiction worlds that I’m currently creating in this series, the power of daily writing, journaling in a way, is something I am drawn back to again and again.