Teachers Write 8.2.18 Thursday Quick-Write with Tracey Baptiste

Good morning! Our final Thursday Quick-Write for the summer comes from the amazing Tracey Baptiste.

Tracey is the author of the creepy MG fantasy adventures The Jumbies and Rise of the Jumbies (and a third book on the way, too!), the contemporary YA novel Angel’s Grace and 9  non-fiction books for kids in elementary through high school. Her new official Minecraft novel, The Crash, just came out last month! Tracey is also a former elementary school teacher who does lots of author visits, and she’s on the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

Your Assignment: Write a scene in which a character has to communicate something important (traumatic/time-sensitive, etc.) but cannot use spoken or written language. They may be in a foreign country, or an alien world, or there’s some other reason for the restriction. Feel free to share a bit of what you wrote in the comments if you’d like!

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11 Comments

  1. sheila mustard
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Tracey –

    Thank you for the prompt for our quick write. As I was reading it I decided this would work great for 5th graders to “charade” it out first and then write the scene.

    • Tracey Baptiste
      Posted August 2, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      That’s a great idea!

  2. Barb Jaindl
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Some of our readers discovered Jumbies at our school book fair; however, I’m so excited to see it will get an even larger readership here locally because it’s on this coming year’s PA Young Reader’s Choice list (along with one of Kate’s for another grade level range!) looking forward to introducing students to the characters.

    A thunderstorm dropped half a tree and other branches in my backyard last night, so once I get that cleanup under control I’ll write, but getting lots of think time to prepare while I work. Look forward to reading other participant’s passages today!

    • Tracey Baptiste
      Posted August 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      That’s great to know! I don’t think I’d heard that it was included in the PA Young Reader’s Choice list. Thanks! Good luck with the cleanup.

  3. Kay
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Tracey –

    I am a high school teacher, and so Angel’s Grace sounds very intriguing to me. I just had a conversation with my librarian who is also my good friend, and gave her a list of books to order from Teacher’s Write of 2018! Thank you also for your time. This is my second year, and I have much to learn from these prompts.

    I have been working on this for about 30 minutes and only have half of the story done, and I need to leave for other appointments. So, this is the beginning of the story, no middle, and then the end…

    Samena dashes into her father and mother’s bedroom and sinks to her knees in front of their dresser. She reaches behind a drawer divider full of socks and snatches the extra set of car keys. Her parents have underestimated the secrecy of this hiding spot.
    ….need the middle story here….
    She pulls into the garage, and laughing they walked into the kitchen. And there were her parents. Claire’s face went pale. She opened her mouth to say something, but Samena shook her head at her, hard, and she closed it again.

    • Tracey Baptiste
      Posted August 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Yep. There’s a whole lot you can do with gestures, facial expressions, body movements, how quickly or slowly all of these happen… Nice start!

  4. Kelly
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    At first I could only think of negative situations where this might apply, but the more that I thought about it, the more the possibilities opened up, so I went with a lighter one. I tried to imagine what the characters would be thinking and what their body movements would be doing.

    She pushed her friend farther under the table. They were playing Sardines, and she’d been the first one to find her but they didn’t want everyone else to find them. Still, a couple more girls found them and started giggling. She put her finger to her lips so they would keep quiet. They were all trying to crouch down without falling over and at the same time look all around to see if other kids were coming their way.

    • Tracey Baptiste
      Posted August 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      This made me laugh. Adorable!
      And yes, nonverbal communication can apply to all kinds of situations!

  5. Cynthia Dudczak
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    This was so intriguing.

    Sorry I’m late in posting. I hadn’t received the email when I checked this AM and didn’t check until later in the day.

    Here’s my submission.

    Something had better go right. And soon. Sarah didn’t know how to use the radio. She remembered that SOS was dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot in Morse code. But there wasn’t a boat horn, and SOS was the only code she knew. Besides, she didn’t want the help to come to her. She wanted someone to find the fishing boat that Hank has snuck onto after he got hurt.

    Think! Think!

    She’d found an old trumpet on the wall, a box of different small flags, fishing poles, a bunch of rags, … and Hank’s back pack full of books. Useless, all useless. Might as well look in the back pack: pirate stories, sailor’s knots, nautical flags. NAUTICAL FLAGS.

    She grabbed the trumpet and the box of flags and ran out of the cabin to the upper deck.

  6. Georgeann
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Tracey~
    I am a middle school librarian and am new to Teachers Write. This summer my friend, a 6th grade LA teacher at my school, and I have been creating an independent, semester long student project based loosely on books we’ve both loved. By participating in this forum, I’ve added titles from all the authors I have met online. Your book,The Jumbies, is loved by our students and Angel’s Grace sounds intriguing – I can’t wait to read it. We’ve decided a similar writing assignment for the kids will be included in their free choice of projects. Thank you for the idea! All the assignments, quick writes, books by such amazing authors, and the writers responses to each assignment have been just the most enlightening online program I have ever experienced. Thank you to everyone!

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