Know what’s great about teaching a class like this? Restaurant Review Day! It gives everyone an excuse to relax, take a couple of classes off, and… eat!
For this assignment, I perused the web, trying to find a restaurant review guideline that (A) I didn’t have to pay for, and (B) had the detail I was looking for. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it, so it was back to inventing the wheel again. (It’s below, if you need one for yourself.) #homeschoolerproblems
Anyway, I called Applebee’s ahead of time to let them know we were coming. Granted, a TRUE restaurant review would have been more ninja-like, but there’s a fine line between incognito and rude, in this case. Having 15 people show up unannounced and during the lunch rush would not have been nice, AND we would have been waiting f o r e v e r for a space to seat all of us. Calling ahead was beneficial to both of our teams.
I had the students take their Restaurant Review papers with them, so they could write as they went. Having the prompts there was nice, because it gave them things to think about that normally wouldn’t have crossed their minds.
I had the students bring their own money, which included extra for a 15% tip. Homeschoolers love real-world experiences!
Anyway, it was a great trip, and I can’t wait to do it again!
Here’s the Restaurant Review if you need one yourself.
First, I had the kids fold a piece of paper in half, and half again, to create four quadrants. In each quadrant, they drew what THEY thought a door, entry, gate, and portal looked like, and labeled them. They were really worried about me judging their drawing skills, but I assured them I wouldn’t.
Once they had the images drawn, the assignment shifted. I instructed them to tell me (in 3-5 sentences) what was behind each opening – and it didn’t have to be mundane or even realistic. it is creative writing, after all.
The kids came back with all sorts of interesting locations!
There was murder in an office, and you, Detective So-and-so, must deduce who killed your victim, approximately when your victim was killed, what the murder weapon was, and why he or she was murdered. All the clues will be found in the trash can next to the victim’s desk, but you have to sort through everything to figure it out.
I told the kids to make a list of everything they might find in the trash can, including mundane items. They cannot list blatant items (like a gun), but rather, be creative in how the murder happened. It is up to the rest of us in the classroom to figure out “who done it.”
Here I stand – Defender of my child!
Inspiration for Creative Writing comes at us from all angles. This week’s assignment comes from the picture above.
I had the kids write down their greatest fear, anonymously, on an index card, then bring them to me one at a time. Using a list of their names, I assigned a number to their name, and then put a matching number on their card. So, Dominic’s card might be an 8, and Claudia’s card might be a 2. I did that so when I passed them back out, they would get a different person’s card. Once they got the card, they weren’t allowed to show anyone that fear.
The assignment is to take that fear, and become the valiantly defending teddy, just like the picture. It was the writer’s job to defend his or her “child” against the horrible fear (spiders being a top one) in some sort of adventure. Some asked if they could draw a picture to go along with it. Aren’t they wonderful??
In Creative Writing, it’s imperative a safe space is built in order for the kids to loose some of their inhibitions. I have a LOT of introverts this year, and I can tell it’s going to take a little longer than normal to build that “trust bubble.” That’s ok, though, because I’ve already noticed progress!
In order to help with creating that safe space, we play team-building games in the classroom. The one they played during the last class was The Human Knot. With this game, everyone crowds in a tights circle and extends an arm inwards, and grabs another person’s hand. Then they put their other hand in and grab a hand of someone else. Once they’ve accomplished that, they work together in trying to unknot themselves. They aren’t allowed to break their hands, but they are allowed to rotate their hands and arms in order to be as comfortable as possible. I allowed for 2 breaks if they came to a point they couldn’t work through, and only if everyone in the knot agreed to it. It was challenging, but they had fun!
Here’s a fun assignment we’re doing:
Day 1: Have the kids make a list of 15 items that they would find in a grocery store – but not merchandise. So, no food, or other items that are sold.
My kids were wicked creative, and came up with things like: flies, conveyor belts, shelves, scales, freezers, nasty leftover gum, toilets, etc.
Day 2: Once the kids have compiled their list, you get to spring it on them that they have to take those items and incorporate them into a fairy tale. The rule is the fairy tale can’t take a left turn and go to the grocery store. It has to read the same as it normally would, but with the items thrown in. Another kicker? They don’t get to pick the story.
I printed off some fairy tales, folded them up, put them in a cup, and had the kids pick them. They weren’t allowed to trade because I’m
mean challenging like that.
Now that the 2012-2013 school year is over, it’s time to start thinking about next year! I’m truly inspired by my upcoming classes, too! I’ll have Jr. High/ High School Creative Writing, Jr. High Anatomy (a.k.a. Blood & Guts!), Jr. High History (Middle Ages, part deux), Epsilon Math (Fractions), Levels 1 & 2 Art classes, a SPED Spelling/Reading Class, and a Map class!
Before school starts, I’ll have a 6-week Summer Art Camp, along with a Math Interactive Journal class.
So, in order to have everything ready by the time school begins, I’ve started putting my room together. Here’s the first of many:
For my Creative Writing class – or for anyone that needs to know this.
I saw this on Pinterest, and decided to make my own version of it. I love it!