Slice of Life: The Noise Of Curiosity

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

My sixth graders were working on creating new words as part of our Word Origins unit (and they will be donating one of their newly invented words into an ongoing, 18-year project to build an online dictionary of invented words, called The Crazy Collaborative Dictionary Project, which has more than 1,000 words from students.)

I rarely expect complete quiet when doing this kind of work (and with this year’s antsy social crew, even less so) but the noise of students sharing out loud their words and definitions was a bit of a cacophony yesterday, one I didn’t tamp down on because the excitement and energy level for being creative was just so high, I had to let it go on.

One of my more reluctant young writers was over the moon with this word invention activity, and as I walked by, he turned to a neighbor friend and declared: “This is the BEST writing assignment we’ve had the entire year. I just LOVE doing this!”

I had to smile. You never know what is going to capture the interest of students, and his excitement, along with others, was infectious in the classroom. Heads nodded in agreement with him and then more voices began to float over the room in a strange orchestra of absurd words.

Peace (capturing it),

  1. A found poem:

    a strange orchestra
    crazy collaborative project
    of invented words
    young writers over the moon
    on a creative high

    Loved reading this, Kevin!

  2. Some of the best lessons are timeless–and this one is so creative! I hope you come back and visit this post on one of those days when the curriculum doesn’t garner this much interest, to remind yourself that snapshots like this one make it worthwhile. By any chance, do you read “Jabberwocky” and Dr. Seuss as part of this project?

  3. What a great moment, caught and transmitted eloquently n this slice. I know those moments, too (while they are indeed, rare) when the clamor of the students is all about the work and you have done something good to ignite that energy.

  4. I feel these moments of joy captured feel even more precious these days. Your moment made me smile and your project sounds fascinating. Here’s to more moments of joyful writing.

  5. Love imagining this hubbub. I hope another takeaway for them is that they can generate that same excitement at will in their own writing lives. I felt this way when I discovered that when the writing well runs dry I can invoke the Muse in my own way. Personal agency, yeah, let that be the way.

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