It started with a mysterious piece of folded paper left on my desk adorned with squiggly lines.
He had already started to use the writer’s notebook we set up just hours before. Ethen visits my office often, looking for books, but this time he asked if I had “one of those books with all of the lines.” Of course I did, so he picked a color, and we wrote “Ethen’s Writing Notebook” on the cover.
I went straight to Ethen’s room after receiving the mysterious paper. “I love your story! Can you tell me about it?” He proceeded to tell me it was a God song that goes “ooh ooh.”
The next day, another folded paper with squiggly lines, but this time it included a few illustrations. When I approached Ethen with excitement, he said it was an army story.
The following day, another piece of writing. This time with words! It was a song with the lyrics written out.
The next day, we wrote together. He ate breakfast at my table and wrote a sentence at a time about Godzilla. By the end of breakfast, he had 3-4 sentences about Godzilla’s body and actions. I commended him for telling so many details about Godzilla. We even revised a sentence by adding a color word as a description.
The following day, Ethen was back and eager to draw a picture of Godzilla. He made sure to capture the details in his story with his illustration.
Our writing club continues each morning. He has written about his grandma who passed away and published his dinosaur story on chart paper to share with his classmates. He is learning his notebook is a place to record his thoughts and feelings. I am learning how to encourage a writer one step at a time. How to cultivate the joy of writing through time and questioning. How to take what I learn by writing every morning and put it into bite sized pieces for our youngest learners.
The energy I feel with my morning writing buddy sustains me throughout the day. It’s also got me thinking…How can I capture this with a larger group? Can I start a writing club? How? When? Who?