This day was born under such a beautiful rising of the sun. A burst of light from behind the clouds shone on the tractor by the barn and I felt the pull of the tractor, waiting with its one-way disc plow, to get into the field and work! Still too wet. While I’m off to my youngest son’s graduation at Hastings College today, my students are continuing their work with their hero narratives.
Completing our rough drafts, we diagrammed them with highlighters. We were looking for excellent description, sensory detail, realistic dialogue, and the details of setting. Once we’d highlighted in different colors for those items, we began revision-seeing in full color what was lacking. We’d already discussed what we liked about our favorite authors and novels and it came down to those four things.
I’ve never used this method before, but I will use it again. Some students could find nothing to highlight and so had a much work to do! Some found this to be very helpful, and following my example done on the projected in front of them, they made all kinds of notes as they highlighted. These notes to themselves served to make revising much easier as they knew exactly what needed to be changed. This has been an awesome addition to the mono-myth study and I’m sure I’ll do it again with a few tweakings.
Teachers are always dreading phone calls from parents; the one I had this week touched me deeply. She wanted me to know that her son had never talked about this very personal family story before he decided to write about it for this assignment. She told me that it meant healing for him and she was so thankful, but wanted me to know how difficult it had been both for him to have written and to have shared it with her. That makes it all worthwhile.