I’m working on a piece about summer reading for our local library. I thought I would start at the beginning of the writing process and do a bit of thinking before I start drafting. I realize that I don’t spend enough time in this first phase of the process. I tend to jump right to drafting. I think my writing would be better if I spent more time in rehearsal. And so, here I am, rehearsing.
I ask kids to jot ideas, sketch across pages, talk with partners, just sit and do some thinking, some wondering. It’s hard for them. They want to get started right away. I realize that it’s hard for me too. And so, here I am, rehearsing.
I started with notes:
The summer slide – bigger concern this summer than ever before.
What is summer reading?
What do I do?
What do I hope kids will do?
What is my vision, my hope, my dream for our kids as we send them off for a summer of reading?
I started wondering: What do kids envision when they hear the words summer reading? Do they envision books in a beach bag, reading in the back yard, or in a park, or in a special place in a home or apartment? Do they see stacks of favorite books piled next to their beds? Do they picture trips to the library? Or do they envision “lists and Pizza Hut and some kid who always read like 80 books” (my daughter’s response to my research question – a dinner at Pizza Hut being the reward for a summer of reading)? Does summer reading say pleasure, or does it say torture?
I was wondering what you envision when you hear the words summer reading? If you have school aged children, I’d love to hear their responses too.
Can you help me with this first phase of my process?