Each year, I go visit the local high school to talk to the kids about being a writer.
I made that pleasant trip today and met an enthusiastic and engaged group. I babbled few minutes about what life is like as a writer (you know – many hours of work, no money) before we started our writing exercises.
The most interesting and fun project was to rewrite a boring sentence. The kids started with “The man walked across the room.”
They were split into four groups, each table was asked to rewrite the sentence to make it either scary, funny, exciting, or sad. They had about fifteen minutes to work on their sentences, and some of the results were terrific. I’m not sure why so many of them described the man as “old,” but whatever…
I think I was able to convince them how important it is to use exciting, descriptive words. When I read some of their sentences aloud, the reaction to the particularly good ones was a great measure of them wanting to know what happens next! Hopefully they’ll remember that next time they have an English paper and the next time they write a letter to their grandmother.
It was (as always) a fun and interesting time for me, and hopefully also for them.