SLEEPING GIANT

WHY I LOVE TO TEACH

StoryWarren
The Story Warren blog recently asked me what I love about teaching creative writing to children. Here was my answer:

I love existing, for a few hours a week, in a world where imagination has no ceiling and no floor. Where the most discombobulated spelling can frame the most marvelous and hilarious thoughts. Where self-consciousness and criticism have not yet squeezed creativity into a box.

I love reading stories about talking cats, portals, ninjas, dinosaurs, giant sloths from outer space, adventurous pizza delivery boys, treasure chests, princesses who go on quests, skeletons who wear high heels and chase butterflies, fiddling skydivers, screaming flowers, and bizarre creatures no one else has ever imagined except for one small extravagant brain.

I love watching kids play with words and ideas as if they were toys instead of computing them as if they were equations. I love the fact that they have not yet grown into the cynical and literal worldview of adults.

I love being reduced to tears when I see a student’s heart blossom in a poem that I know goes far beyond what she ever thought she could write. Yet that poem was in her all along. She just needed the words—and the encouragement—to express it.

You can read the rest of the interview here:
http://www.storywarren.com/a-majestic-interview-with-author-creative-writing-teacher-jennifer-trafton/

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A NEW YEAR OF STORIES COMMENCETH

ilovewriting
Welcome to the new Sleeping Giant website! All of my Fall 2013 classes—both local and online—are now open for registration. I hope you enjoy browsing the class offerings and exploring the new site, and I welcome your feedback! My plan is to use this blog to share anecdotes from my teaching, suggest creative activities you or your family might enjoy, highlight books and resources I’ve found helpful, and celebrate the unique imaginations that children possess. Please sign up for my mailing list if you’d like to be informed by email of upcoming workshops and classes.

Artwork by Amanda, age 8
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METAPHORS, DOUBLE VISION, AND THE GRUESOME PIT OF GROSSNESS (A WRITING ADVENTURE FOR YOUR FAMILY)

Pasted Graphic 1
I’ve been in a tempest of lesson planning for summer camps, library workshops, and online classes. Part of the planning has involved looking back over the past year and figuring out which activities have worked well for the kids I’ve taught and which haven’t. I want to share with you one that worked—because it occurred to me that it would be an easy and fun activity for a family to do together. The inspiration came from my favorite book on writing craft (so far), Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. Read More...
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