With three weeks under her fifth grade belt, my daughter is already making strides. It’s amazing to see how she’s developing as a writer. I’ve been closely watching her writing progress over her elementary school years. One of my proudest moments so far was when her second grade teacher commented at parent teacher conference that she was an excellent writer, and was able to write for different purposes and audiences. I wanted to cartwheel down the hall, but instead shook her teacher’s hand and smiled.
She brought home her first fifth grade writing assignment a couple of nights ago. She’d begun a draft of a story that was a take on our family trip to Marine Land in Niagara Falls a few summers ago. It was full of action, suspense, metaphors and similes. It showcased her maturity as a writer so far. It had a quality about it that I’d never seen so clearly in former grades, and in her other stories. It had voice.
I could tell she was enjoying the writing process so much that at 10:00pm my husband and I had to stop her and promise that she could continue in the morning before school. I didn’t think she would after she’d written 3 full pages, but she did. The next morning she wrote another page while eating a bowl of Cheerios.
Watching her made me the remember my childhood and how I’d steal away in my bedroom or find a patch of sunshine and lay in the family room and write until my heart’s content. Watching her made me want to go back to school and relish in those assignments that allowed me to discover, and develop my voice.
Here are some books that have been my touchstones when working on my craft. What are some of yours?
Carol Higgins-Lawrence wrote her first story at the age of five. Her father paid her a quarter for it and she's been writing ever since. She's taken a variety of courses in writing for children. Multicultural perspectives are of particular interest to her. Carol is of Jamaican descent and was born and raised in Canada. She has a BA in Communications and Sociology and she has completed coursework towards a MA in TESOL. She has worked as a literacy educator for the past 15 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two young children. You can visit her website at carolhl.weebly.com
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