Thinking through and writing about issues that rouse
As I am cleaning, I come across old pieces of writing that evoke significant memories. This is a good one. I think it may be a children's book sometime in the future. I wrote it before I was a Math/Science specialist, I think. As I recall, I used to do a writing lesson called Extraordinary Stories. I wanted the kids to share, and I wanted it to be a safe space, (there may have been a bully in the class I was worried about) so I wrote this to get that idea across. Here it is:
In a mysterious land not very far away, there lived a colorful community of people who loved children very much. When a baby was born, he or she was given a chest of special clothing and accessories. Every birthday, the child got to take something new from the chest that represented something important to them.
The first few years, of course, the parents did the choosing, but it wouldn't be too long before the child would develop their own personality and make their own choices. So by the time there were your age (4th grade), they were in style! They wore caps or hats of all types and t-shirts with designs that expressed something they liked or believed in. They wore vests and capes and berets and all kinds of shoes.
The chest always had something to offer year after year. They were a very colorful community of people. Everyone appreciated each other's choices. People didn't have it in their minds to think of each other's choices as odd, or stupid, or ridiculous, or crazy. They all understood each other, and respected each other's choices.
But one day, a stranger came to town. He was different. He wouldn't give his name, but he came to be known as Snicker, because that is what he did all day long. He would walk by a colorful child, the colorful child would be proud and smiling. Maybe he or she would be apprehensive or shy because he or she was wearing something new. Snicker would look at the children up and down. And snicker at them. Chhhh. He thought they were the most ridiculous group of people he had ever seen.
And of course, it made the colorful people feel small whenever he snickered at them. The snickering was so powerful that whoever came across him would run home, take off all their beautiful and colorful articles of clothing, throw them back into the chests, and and slam their chests with a loud bang!
Oh what a miserable state of affairs! Two very strong colorful children, a sister and a brother, Deniece and Denephew, saw more and more of their friends become snickers and decided they had to do something about it. They went to visit the community wizard and he, of course, already knew why they were there. But instead of giving them a magic potion, he gave them a brainstorm spell. They went home, all the way thinking of ways to get rid of the snicker madness.
Here's where the teacher part comes in: In your group, discuss some ways you think they thought of in their brainstorm session. If there was someone who puts you down or makes fun of you, what could you do? What could you say to them? Let's make a spell, so that if you come across one, you'll know how to handle them.
When I make this into a children's book, I'll come up with an appropriate ending.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.