It was the after-school Writers’ Club again today. As kids were filtering in, and my co-teacher was taking attendance, I was chatting with kids.
“I wish Writers’ Club was on Mondays,” one said, “because then we’d have something to really look forward to about Mondays.”
At the table next to him, a girl popped her head up from her snack to add “Writers’ Club is the highlight of my Tuesday.” Her friend sitting across from her took the perfect pause before saying, “Writers’ Club is the only thing I have on Tuesdays, so . . . ”
Earlier, we had decided to invite more kids to make some stick figure cut-out stories like we did last time..
As I made a quick direction chart before the end of the school day, I wondered if making the chart would make it less enticing than the sneaky spur-of-the-moment style from last time.
But, somehow, as kids went off to write, several came up for index cards, sharpies, and scissors. As each writer, or partnership came to the supply cart, I asked them what they were going to write, and cheered inside when they said “I want to try cut-out stories!”
My co-writer from last time was trying to get our pieces back in order, and two girls walked up to join our story. Next to us a few kids were creating their own stick figure stories, and at 2 tables at the end of the cafeteria, I could see more stick figure story work happening.
Our new co-writers fit right in. Soon all four of us were drawing, cutting, writing, and making.
One of the girls didn’t talk much and her friend said, “She doesn’t really talk.”
I said, “But she can draw! Look at that!” and we both looked over at the cat being sketched on an index card.
“And really that’s all that matters,” my co-writer told me.
I have to confess – it was super fun. I asked the kids if they thought that maybe I could have a job where all I did was make cut-out stick figure stories with kids all day.
They thought it was doable, for sure. One girl looked at me very seriously and said, “You are going to need a lot of index cards.”
Soon, we were done. So we got some construction paper, and the kids glued the story down. They aren’t sure if they want to staple it now, or maybe put it up like a comic strip.
“Can you believe this story started with just one little stick figure?” I asked my original co-writer. He just shook his head with wonder. And then, before he left to go home, he stopped me at the supply cart to ask me a question.
“Can I take some index cards home so I can write another story?”