It’s an ongoing Tug of War…on one end of the rope is me, the teacher. (I’m supposed to win, right?). On the other end, six of my students. The battle?
Or, to be more specific, the right to spend time drawing Pokemon. Lots of Pokemon. Page after page after page of Pokemon. To be honest, they are great pictures. These kids are talented! Clearly, they have honed their skills by spending lots of effort and practice. And they wish to continue doing this All. Day. Long.
They are subversive Pokemon drawers. They love drawing these little critters so much that they will resort to any means to get away with grabbing some Pokemon time. Math test? Decorated with Pikachu and Bulbasaur. Write your reading goal on a bookmark? The flip side has Blastoise and Venonat. But the true battle comes during Writing Workshop.
So many Pokemon books. Pokemon Small Moments. Informational books on How to Catch Pokemon. Lists and lists of Pokemon in their Heart Map Journals. Any reason for writing can be turned into an opportunity to write about Pokemon…which then can be ILLUSTRATED. (Writing time, 5-10 minutes; illustrating time, much more).
See what I’m up against?
As the tug of war continues, I’ve found new ways to encourage (insist on) more varied topics for writing. I’ve read mentor text after mentor text which do NOT contain any Pokemon. And their writing has flourished. They do enjoy writing, and have grown immensely as authors. But underneath it all, there is the constant temptation…please, let us draw Pokemon!
And they’ve gotten very good at asking delightful questions that hide their true motives!
“Could I please write my own graphic novel?” (Code..draw Pokemon). “Could I please get some buddy feedback on my story?” (Code…go over to the corner and draw Pokemon). “Could I do a story map and then add my words?” (Code…you get the idea).
Imagine my dismay at the beginning of the Persuasive Writing unit. I knew it was only a matter of time before their campaign began, and today I found the first note of what I am sure will be many on my desk…