The Easy Way Out
Whenever I write, I am perpetually trying: trying to bring life to a character, trying to visualize an imaginary world, trying to get a specific reaction from the reader, trying to come up with something that doesn’t suck fifteen minutes before class. After writing this way for so long I think I got wrapped up in trying and forgot that writing isn’t always so hard.
In an effort to prevent the kids from turning into exhausted, over-caffeinated collegiate writers too quickly, I designed my lesson plan for this past Tuesday to focus on the lost art of writing effortlessly. I wanted the day’s writing prompts to challenge the kids to put the first thought off the top of their head on paper, and to prove that a writer doesn’t always have to try so hard in order to create a piece of writing that they can be proud of.
One of the activities from that day’s lesson was called Consequences. Each student received a slip of paper with the word “If” in the top left corner. I gave them a minute to write an “If” statement or action. When the minute was up, I instructed the students to flip their slip of paper over and pass it to the person to their right. On the backside of the slip of paper, “Then” was written in the top left corner. The students were given minute to write down a consequence, but they were not allowed to look at the “If” on the other side of the paper.
Here are some of our Consequences:
If I ran fast like a duck
Then you will marry a boys named Dan.
If blue was not a color
Then I will bring a swimsuit.
If chipmunks are ticklish
Then the world explodes.
If dinosaurs can dunk basketballs
Then giraffes will rule the world.
If the world was made out of ice cream
Then Wednesdays are always pizza days.
If the sun was hot pink and clouds were neon green
Then I would become a goddess.
If I don’t tie my shoes
Then all of the fish in the oceans will.
If you rule the world
Then the sun will start burping up eggs.
It’s not so difficult. It’s not too serious. It’s writing and it’s fun. Isn’t that what all of this is about?
-Katie de Loys