Lucy Calkins talks about children learning to write about small moments instead of bed-to-bed stories that just tell a sequence of events from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed in the evening. Our field trip to the farm last week was the perfect example for the children to stop thinking about long, all day stories and just think about a small moment that they could blow up. As we talked about the farm, we talked about each of the things we did - beginning with putting our lunches in the coolers and putting on our name tags to taking the long ride on the bus and then going through the corn maze and then the hayride to see pumpkins and sunflowers ... until we loaded the bus back home and fell asleep! We talked to the children about thinking about a small moment during the day instead of trying to tell everything we did. To emphasize that, we put photographs of moments at the farm onto writing paper and asked each child to choose a favorite moment from a photograph to write about. It was such a great way to explain to the children that we want them to write a lot about one event instead of a list or series of events. Mrs. Ruark modeled with the story about jumping on the corn popper and all the fun she had. She did leave out the part about almost wetting her pants, but I still think the children would have enjoyed that part too! While the writing may still not be quite as deep as we'd like or have as much detail as we'd like, they do seem to be getting the point!
When my class went on the playground I went in the popcorn box and I was excited that I buried Tanner and Jesse. And I played that I was a monster under the water
And here is another example of a small moment: