“What makes writing interesting?” I said at the beginning of the period. The choral response was, “It’s subjective.” While true, having a stance, taking a side or even having an opinion makes for more compelling writing. On the first day back from Thanksgiving, the students begrudgingly shuffled to get a dry erase marker. I gave them a task to write a three-sentence interesting story.
From reading a few selected stories, the class opened up to a discussion on which was more interesting and why. They deliberated on the common elements in each of the ones that were easier to read.
The students then wrote — attempted to at least — an interesting three-sentence cause or effect story of the French Revolution.
The students started writing and I paused them when a few of them got stuck. They were falling into the trap of simply stating events. The French Revolution happened. Napoleon took over after. The guillotine was used.
In the examples above, the student added an opinion to her writing. It was easier for her to develop an argument. It also made her more invested in the writing and more enjoyable for me to read.
In yesterday’s post, Lina said she felt that the non-historical writing helped her. I found the same to be true today. Not all students became prolific writers today. But, it was a start. They are writing far better than I ever did in high school.