plot lines and writing lessons

On Friday I decided to teach the kids about character development, setting, plot lines, climax and resolution and how to write a good story. I drew out a little story about a boy and a girl who lived on a farm. I described the kids, one liked legos the other liked jewelry. And these kids got pigs on their farm. But something crazy happened and the pigs got out. The story was a real raucous until the pigs were safely back in their pen and the story resolved nicely.

I explained each part of the story, the rising action, the climax, the resolution, and since he had just finished reading the book with his dad, I asked Ivar if he would map out The Hobbit on the white board.

I know.

But in my defense I was thinking he would say, "Bilbo lived in the Shire and found a ring, it led him on an adventure and he ended up back home at the end of the story."

But not Ivar. Ivar had a lesson for me. First he totally panicked and scribbled wildly on the board, "Mom, there are new characters in ever chapter! And the place is always changing! There isn't just one hard thing they have to get through, it happens over and over and over." He was overwhelmed at the enormity of the task I had just assigned to him (duh) and I tried to back track and said he could just draw out the story arc for The Three Little Pigs. But it was too late. He took my challenging assignment and began to draw out Bilbo's storyline.

And he did so well. Can you see in the picture above his drawing of the shire? And next is the meeting with the dwarfs (those dots are their faces and that is a wood burning stove with puffs of smoke coming up), then they began their adventure into the woods, 14 days of rest in Rivendell and on and on... I actually learned quite a bit by Ivar's explanation of Tolkien's storytelling.

I wrapped up the lesson by telling Ivar, "I guess I started you with the best." And then took a picture of the white board to remember the day Ivar taught me how to write a good storyline.


Nancy Holte said...

He has a better concept of The Hobbit at his young age than I did at twice his age! I never was good with fantasies.

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

So cute. What a smartie!! <3