Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meet Mr. Squared Pine

Now and then we receive envelopes from teachers bursting with terrific stories submitted to our Young Writers Workshop. Usually, these are based on our Story Starters. Reading them all is great fun. Picking one or two to publish is a terrible task. If we could, we would publish every one.

Students and their teacher in from Pierre, South Dakota, sent a collection of stories in March, last year. We picked a story by Eden W. and published it in April. We wanted to publish them all.

In May, we received an envelope full of stories from a second grade class in Eugene, Oregon. Since the beginning of the school year, they practiced skills such as brainstorming, peer editing, paragraph structure and the use of dialogue. They used all those skills preparing a wonderful group of stories based on our Story Starters. We chose one from Zoe P. to publish in June.

Last summer, another big envelope arrived, this time from Ilford, Essex, U.K. This teacher works with a wider age range of students. She invited the children to read Frogwart and the Tooth Fairies and Frogwart and the Easter Eggs. They studied the characters and discussed their personalities and behaviors and the settings I had illustrated. Then they set out to write and illustrate their own stories about Frogwart and Tippity Witchet. We selected stories by Sreram R. and Garthika S. to publish in August. Mr. Squared Pine is one of Garthika's wonderful characters.

Though most of the stories we receive are submitted individually by parents, we were intrigued by the ways these teachers used our simple Story Starters and other content from our site.


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