Write On resident Liza Wiemer spent the week of January 21st working with sixth grade students at Southern Door Schools. Approximately 80 students gathered each morning to learn about the craft of writing and to share a story about an act of kindness.
These five words beautifully express the narratives started by the sixth grade students at Southern Door Middle School during our first period class together the week of January 21-25, 2019. Each student wrote about an act of kindness that had a profound impact on their lives, either something they did for someone else or something someone did for them. We talked about the power of showing emotion by using action, sounds, or non-verbal cues like body language and facial expressions. We discussed the importance of setting and showing details critical to the story. We talked about the power of why. Throughout the week, several brave students shared their work with the entire group of eighty. And what a job they did! They inspired others, received praise, then feedback in order to make their stories shine brighter. One girl shared her joy in being adopted. A boy shared his pain of losing a wrestling match only to be cheered on and supported by his team when he walked off the mat. Another boy saved his sister from sledding into a tree and another helped an older woman put groceries into her car. Many students showed us their notebooks filled with details that brought their stories to life. Their pride in their hard work was evident by their eagerness to share and the smiles on their faces.
And perhaps one of the greatest outcome of all? The teachers decided to create a sixth grade wall of kindness, a place for students to add notecards highlighting acts of kindness that had a profound impact on them.