My Hour with Third Graders

My great-grandson Garrett asked if I could visit his class so his classmates could meet a "real author." Since I write murder mysteries, I had to think a bit about what I could do or say that would be appropriate for a class of third graders.

Since his mom, my granddaughter, told me they were learning how to write essays, I decided that it would be fun to show them how to write a story.

What an enthusiastic bunch! After my preliminary self-introduction (and by the way, they seemed impressed) we began talking about what needs to be in a story. From there we decided on who are main character should be and voted--the winner Pac Man. Since every hero needs a side-kick, Ghost was the chosen favorite. The setting? A Shark Tank. Main obstacle? Easy, avoiding the sharks and getting out of the tank. And yes, they came up with a solution.

They came up with lot of other ideas too--the hero and side-kick I liked best were the baseball player and his side-kick, the female dirt biker.

When we talked about time-periods, and what might be a fun older time to write about, one of the kids suggested 1981. I was impressed though, when another child said 1940 and I asked if anyone knew what happened in 1941, and one boy immediately raised his hand and said, "World War II."

We also discussed favorite books and another 3rd grader had just read The Book Thief.

I was only supposed to be there for 45 minutes, but it stretched into an hour because we were having so much fun. What a great group--32 really smart and imaginative third graders.

That evening, Garrett and his mom came to visit because he had thank-you cards from the class to bring me.

We read them together. Because I had called on kids by using the color of their shirts and tops, many identified themselves this way, "I was the boy in the blue shirt" etc. It was obvious they had as much fun as I did--and Garrett was happy too.

Marilyn--a proud great-grandmother.


Dee Card said…
You may have just inspired a new batch of writers. Now they have met a "real author" who is fun and has fun creating stories. Sounds like it was a very good day.
Joan Hartman said…
That is wonderful Marilyn. I smiled through the whole blog. What a great experience for your great-grandson and for his classmates! I wonder how many future books you inspired with one hour of your time! Good for you.
That's wonderful, Marilyn. What a lovely experience for both of you and for the class. Sadly, today, too many schools are so involved with teaching to the SOLs, they don't have time to appreciate a "real author".

Mary Montague Sikes
I had wonderful time and so pleased that Garrett was happy too.
~Heidi~ said…
This is so sweet. I can still remember some events like this from my time in grade school. It does have a lasting effect!
I have visited many classrooms and find the experience delightful and invigorating. The children are so imaginative. I sometimes bring stuffed animals or pictures of my characters to initiate a discussion about how to write a story. And like you, we "write" a group story. I wish I had their imagination and sense of wonder. Beryl

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