Got your pencil sharpened or laptop charged? Today’s Tuesday Quick-Write is courtesy of teacher, poet, and picture book author Kristy Dempsey, whose titles include ME WITH YOU, SURFER CHICK, and MINI-RACER. Kristy lives in Brazil with her family and is here today to get us thinking & writing about prized possessions and what they say about character.
At the end of this school year the first graders were studying the elements of story through fairy tales. We talked about imagination, we talked about the cultural aspects of fairy tales from around the world, we talked about what gave these characters believable qualities even though the stories themselves might have magical elements. Toward the end of our unit we watched the film, “A Little Princess”. I was rather amazed as the first graders identified that Sara’s locket and the importance it held for her made the story feel believable to them. One student even said, “It’s like her locket held everything her daddy had ever given her and when Miss Minchin took it away from her, Sara knew she still had all that in her heart.” These first graders understood the importance of emotional truth!
Think of the physical item that is most important to your main character. What does it represent? Now, imagine it being lost or taken away from your main character. How would he/she respond? Sara Crewe’s response, of course, was fairly noble. But what if your character pitched a fit? Or what if he/she embarked on a series of misadventures to try to recoup what was lost? (In fact, one of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Sara’s friends enter Miss Minchin’s office to try to get the locket back.) Write a scene that shows the emotional importance of this physical item to your main character and then show us how he/she responds when it is lost or taken.
I can’t wait to read the serious or funny or fantastical emotionally true scenes you come up with!
Note from Kate: If you don’t have a character from a work-in-progress just yet, you can write this piece about yourself or someone you know.