Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Slice of Life Story Challenge and Classroom Challenge Starts Tomorrow - Unforgettable Stories

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for inspiring us to write!

Natalie Goldberg Quotes:

     I haven't been blogging lately.  And tomorrow it's March.  I've participated in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge since 2014.  That first year I wrote about childhood memories and loved pouring over photographs and sharing stories of growing up an only child in the country.  In 2015, I was inspired by Oprah's What I Know For Sure essays and wrote about my own convictions.  Last year I said goodbye to our house of 11 years as we prepared to downsize into a condo.  And now it's 2017.  What shall I write about?  I seem to be experiencing a major writer's block, and frankly, a desire to write, and it's lasted for some time now.  

     However, when I introduced the SOL Classroom Challenge to my 5th and 6th graders (my classes have participated since 2014, also - my 6th graders will be participating for the 2nd year this year, and my 5th graders for the first), their excitement, enthusiasm, and ideas lit a spark.  Today, I ditched my original lesson plans and spent the day preparing for the challenge with my students.  I picked up Ralph Fletcher's A Writer's Notebook and read the first chapter, "Unforgettable Stories" aloud.  It created a buzz of chatter and lists of ideas in every class.  It also inspired me to work on a Google Doc full of links to blogs, websites, and podcast series filled with unforgettable stories that would inspire questions, personal essays, arguments, reactions, opinions, connections, wonderings, etc.  We started to write!!  They didn't want to leave when classes were over.   I love that!  It was infectious, and now I can't wait to start writing and read what they write!

     Here is what I compiled (feel free to give me more places to find stories in the comments): 


  1. I love Ralph Fletcher's A Writer's Notebook and used it often in my classroom. I can't wait to look at your google doc. So many have provided resources this year. It promises to be an incredible month!

  2. A Writer's Notebook is one of my most treasured "teacher books!. You've inspired me to go back and reread Unforgettable Stories tomorrow as SOL kicks off. I really connected with this piece--this will be my third year and even though it's not always easy to make myself sit down and write, I love the community and the experience! Thanks for sharing the Google doc--this is a fantastic collection of resources!

  3. Hmm. I never thought of having a theme throughout the March challenge. That's something to ponder. What a great resource. Thanks for sharing and Happy Slicing to you and your students.

  4. My fourth and fifth graders are participating this year, too. It's the first time I've had my students participate and they were so excited and enthusiastic yesterday that they made me change my mind about participating personally. I'm on board. We are using kidblog in the classroom. I wondered what platform your kiddos are using and if we could have them connect. My email is janiefahey@gmail.com