Slice of Life: What If?

Today’s post comes as part of the Two Writing Teacher’s Slice of Life Tuesday. Check ’em out!


Today is a confluence of remarkable things.

First, I should tell you that I’ve started a writing club at both of my schools. For eight weeks, I run a weekly group for 4th and 5th graders after school. I get the 2nd and 3rd graders this winter. Let it be known that we are having a BLAST! I’m not quite sure what (or if!) any final product will be, but boy oh boy are we having fun expanding our practice.

Next, I should make you aware that Katherine Applegate – yes, THE Katherine Applegate, of The One and Only Ivan / Bob / Ruby and Wishtree and Crenshaw and Home of the Brave a bunch of Animorphs books and the soon to be released Odder – yes, THE Katherine Applegate who has won a Golden Kite Award and a Newbery Medal – Katherine Applegate CAME TO OUR SCHOOLS and YES I AM SHOUTING because it was a truly amazing experience.

And what was so amazing for me? All of what she said to the students. It’s what I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for any kid, teacher or parent who will listen. Write! Write a bunch! Write what moves you! Write for yourself! Write stuff you love! Write stuff you’re not a fan of! Write! Write! Write!

She spoke. I beamed. I felt validated, seen, energized.

My writing club kids talked about what resonated with them: the need to write, the importance of doing research, and how critical it was to put our passion into a form of self-expression.

And there was one more thing. Katherine Applegate challenged the students to consider, any time they were stuck, the question: “What if?” and let their imagination run from there.

Of COURSE. What if?

So this week, our writing club played with the idea. What if? What if? What if? The kids came up with fantastic, insightful ideas. And throughout the next week, we’ll be posting them all around our schools for other kids to ponder about, to roll with, and – who knows? – maybe to write about.

Enjoy a sampling of sheer brilliance.

That’s a metaphor for untapped talent, if I’VE ever seen one!

Just wait until this writer starts in on composing allegory. Stand back, friends!

This could be QUITE the exploration.

It’s a veritable FEAST of thought…

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

6 thoughts on “Slice of Life: What If?

  1. This prompt is wonderful and your post is inspiring me to use some of these ideas with the high school students that I teach. The presence of a published author, one revered by many, must have created such a positive energetic force in the room! How wonderful!

    1. Thank you! And yes, there is definite energy around writing all throughout both buildings. I couldn’t ask for more!

  2. ACK! I love so many things about this slice. I am totally stealing this idea for our writing club (we start in a week or so … second year at one of my schools, first year at the other…) and also – I can’t even with Katherine Applegate!!!!! I love author visits in general and how they energize my teaching and validate, etc. etc…. But Katherine Applegate???? Amazing. Thanks for sharing all of this.

    1. Please do! Please do! And yes. Katherine APPLEGATE. To say I was fangirling would be an understatement.

      And…I’d love to hear how your writing club is going! I’m still feeling my way around, so I’m all in for any ideas or suggestions you have!

  3. What a wonderful experience. I am actually talking about Home of the Brave when I discuss poetry with teachers and interdisciplinary possibilities. (I would be a doting fan if I saw Applegate as well.) Lucky kids to have your enthusiastic voice the one they hear at writing club!

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