One Sunflower

the birthday party

on January 11, 2010

Last Friday, five little girls worked diligently to set a table with plates, plastic food, and pretend cupcakes.  Their idea was to surprise one of their classmates with a birthday party. 

However, when it came time to jump out and shout “Surprise,” the intended recipient was in the middle of painting and didn’t pay much attention to all the hoopla. Luckily it was time to clean up so the girls moved on without much disappointment.  Our journal writing time was next and the birthday party became the subject matter for many stories. 

It was Rose Red’s turn for conferring and when she said she wasn’t sure how to get started writing about the party, I suggested beginning with the table they had set so carefully.  In hindsight, I probably should have started with the characters rather than the setting, but she knew how to draw a table and got started right away. 

All her friends at the table drew the party.  When I suggested to Miss Muffet that she write the story below the picture, it was easy for her to copy her friend’s name tag and write the first sounds she heard in “birthday” and “party.” It was a revelation to the other writers who quickly began copying portions of their classmates names and going to the alphabet wall to find the ‘b’ and ‘p.’

A few of the students have begun figuring out that the letter sounds they know are important to use when writing about their stories but this was the first time I had the light bulb go off for 5 students in one sitting.


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