The Platypus Series

I’m a firm believer (and I’ve said it before) that great writing begins with any idea that is “in your heart or on your mind”.  This open-ended approach makes the daunting task of marking a blank piece of paper a little easier. Plus, once you give students choice in what they write about, they inevitably are more motivated to try.  ”Free Writing” as I call it, also gives me great insight into what makes my students tick.

Here’s what’s been on the mind of one of my little guys:

Perry the Platypus doesn’t like the cold.

Perry went on a bus ride.  The windows were all full.  Perry sat on the roof so he could see better.

My platypus will get hurt by the TNT!!

Me and Perry, we’re in Halloween.

As you can tell, he finally gains enough confidence to try his hand at writing independently – and with punctuation! (P.S. Kids know about TNT?)

Had I simply asked him to write about his weekend, these little gems would probably never have been revealed.  Nor would all the other stories about a baby cousin’s first bath, or cheetahs, or climbing to the top of the monkey bars and almost touching the sun.

Enabling my students to “look inside” and put into words what they think about, or love, is a real treat.  Not just because they get to witness how their ideas come alive, but because we all get to share in it and get to know each other just a little bit better in the process.

Perry the Platypus, who knew?

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