Today was better. I managed to tidy up at least yesterday so no chores today. Tea is already made (and I am waiting for the chorus of complaints as it is tagine and therefore repels small children) but it is at least made!
We took LG and her friend to playgroup this morning and then the boys and I came back home to do some writing (the plan had originally been to go swimming but that was thwarted at the last mo). My sister had explained shared writing to me and so I thought we would give it a go. The boys had sat with Daddy at the weekend and outlined the story about our disappearing snowman from last week. Remember him? Here is their story mountain:
We downloaded the sheet here if you’d like to have a go. There are lots of other resources online too though if you just google “story mountain”.
I was a bit dubious about shared writing. I thought I would simply be writing a story myself and couldn’t really see how that would be helpful. But the process was quite illuminating. The boys were very excited for me to write the story for them – it seemed to free up their ideas. It also helped them to discuss their ideas and try different ways of including them in the story as I could type so much faster than either of them could write. We started out with a draft of the beginning section, that outlined where we were and what happened. We then went back to it and read it over and over, including things, and taking things away. We thought about our descriptions and went back and added some more in. We thought about what the scene looked like and felt like and tried to remember that the person reading it hadn’t been there so we needed to include all the details. Obviously there were some things that I added too but it was a real joint effort. And most importantly the boys saw me working on it; refining and rewriting until it sounded just right.
I am now very excited about this as I think this practice is a great way in – they are generally not too enthusiastic about story writing, seeing it as almost a kind of witchcraft. I have included the beginning of our story at the bottom of the post – let us know what you think and watch out for Chapter 2 tomorrow!
When we collected LG and friend from playgroup there was a very nice surprise waiting for me when I took her friend home:
The clever bread friend who gave me the pizza recipe had baked us a loaf. Doesn’t it look just perfect! I am so impressed and so were the children. After taking everyone’s orders for bread and butter, and bread and jam we were left with this:
And after second helpings, there is now one lonely slice left.
Anyway here is our story:
The Missing Snowman
Chapter 1: The Missing Snowman
It was a bright winter’s day with thick ice and snow on the ground. J, S, L, E and Mummy were walking from playgroup through the park. Their fingers and cheeks were pink because of the bitter cold and their clouds of breath were visible as they walked. The previous day, Mummy and the boys had built a fantastic snowman in the park. He was almost as tall as J and they had dressed him in J’s hat and scarf. He was a very good looking snowman! J and S were excited to show him to E and L.
As they got closer, J and S looked anxiously into the distance. The snowman was not there!
“Perhaps you just can’t see him.” said Mummy
“Come on J,” said S “Let’s run closer.” So the boys sped off across the field.
“We still can’t see him.” said J.
The boys arrived at the spot where the snowman had been. There were only lumps of snow. J’s hat was hanging on a branch and his scarf was tied tightly around a tree trunk.
The snowman had been smashed!