Days 4-8 of the Fanfiction Workshop

This is part of a series on a fanfiction workshop for kids. Earlier posts are: On Teaching a Fanfiction Workshop for Kids, Writers in the Schools – A Second Time Round, Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Day 4: Starting the Rough Draft

On Day 4, we started the rough draft.

10 minutes: General comments

I started off with some Q&A and then gave some general comments about writing and myself as a writer. As show and tell, I brought some work that I had done when I was in fourth and fifth grade. I talked about how I had felt embarrassed about my own writing, but how, looking back, I see my work in a much more positive light! I talked about how one of my biggest mistakes as a young writer was asking others their opinion about my writing and emphasized the importance of practice.

5 minutes: Freewrite activity

I actually didn’t do this activity, but should have. It should have happened at the beginning of every writing day!

5 minutes: Check-in and review

I asked the kids to get out their “Some Ways to Start Stories” worksheet and look it over. I asked where they were at. Some kids were done and ready to write.

20 minutes: Rough draft

We got started on the rough draft! Many kids were stuck, so the teacher and I went around the room and talked over their character, setting, and ideas for starting the stories.

20 minutes: Sharing

A few kids wanted to share to the whole class, so we did that, and then we did some sharing in small groups.

Day 5: Continuing on the rough draft

Day 5 was a lot like Day 4.

10 minutes: General comments

I made more general comments about writing, gave encouragement, asked questions, and checked in.

5 minutes: Freewrite

30 minutes: Rough draft and cover page

Some of the kids finished up here and asked what to do, so I asked them to start working on a cover page with name, title, and illustration.

20 minutes: Sharing

The Days I Didn’t Do (But Should Have)

I thought this whole thing could be wrapped up in eight sessions, but ended up coming back for more, because half the kids finished when I expected they would, but the other half were still working. I expressed my surprise to the teacher and asked what to do, and she told me it’s always like that. What a challenge. I don’t know how teachers do it!

Instead, I asked the kids to start in on editing. Bad plan! It meant the teacher and I were rushing around the classroom on the one hand helping out kids who were stuck and on the other hand helping out kids who were editing.

If I do this workshop again, I’ll ask the teacher to help me prepare some activities for the kids who finish up first. They could write a sequel, or a second story, or a character sketch, or a setting description. Or they could pair up with kids who were stuck and give suggestions.

Next up: Getting to the Ending

 

By dotmatchbox at flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0] , via Wikimedia Commons

By dotmatchbox at flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0] , via Wikimedia Commons

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