aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Teaching kids to write

Teen (who was only recently promoted from kid) is being taught to write stories and essays this year. But sometimes what teachers teach and what I actually do as a writer who makes her living writing is completely different.

For example, Teen asked me, “Does every paragraph in your books have a topic sentence and three supporting sentences?”

Her teacher’s approach feels like learning how to dance by looking at a diagram. Or watching a video that doesn’t show the dancers’ feet at all.

Teen is supposed to find a way to write a creative story about a past event. She chose the 1904 World’s Fair. It featured corn palaces, and she wanted to combine it with some elements of the Children of the Corn movie. She wrote it out and asked me to look to it over. Immediately, I became like all the critics I don’t like to listen to. “But why did X happen? There has to be a reason.” And then I got explain the concept of “plot holes” to her.

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