Wednesday, May 28, 2008

paragraph

Leah's spelling homework has been something else. I credit her teachers for being very clever in the way of burning words into their pupils' brains. Previously sentences were to be created from each of the spelling words. At first that was hard for Leah. She would dwell on each word trying so hard to create a real life truthful sentence. Then she realized that so long as a sentence was created there is no reason for it to be true. In fact the wackier the better I told her and soon after she was creating them quickly. Currently the assignment is to take 7 of the 15 words and turn them into a paragraph. It's unclear if this paragraph must make sense, I assume so, which makes this rather difficult for a 7 year old alone. What does that mean for me?

I have spelling homework.

At first I grumbled because that's the last thing I want to do, more thinking. Really. Then I took my own advice. I have decided to create these fascinating scenarios for mostly my own entertainment if not also for her teachers' reactions. Thinking about how they must chuckle upon reading some of these paragraphs make me more motivated. Usually Leah and I work out a paragraph together which is fun since she has a bit of a similar thought process as I making this rather interesting. However this week's spelling words included:
overdue, overboard, overhead, overnight, overflow, unfair, unfriendly, unsure, uneven, unfold, daughter, yawn, hungry, group, above
AND bonus words:
hieroglyphics, probability, King Tutankhamun
Not too much here to work with. Leah was stumped. So I looked it over and had some great ideas, almost too many. Usually I can write a theme based story but this list was going to require thought. Because overdue links my brain to libraries that's where I went with this week's words.

Here's what I came up with:

The unfriendly man began to unfold the letter from the library. He had an overdue book. The man scratched his head unsure where that book could be. He began to look under the couch and above the bookcase. Next he sorted through a group of books on the dining room table. Soon he became hungry. When he opened the pantry to get a can of soup for supper he noticed the overdue book resting on a box of pasta. He felt very silly for leaving a book in the pantry.

When I finished my seven words I was willing to keep going. Sometimes when you get started writing the story just unfolds and takes you deeper into the character's life. I imagined a hermit like guy, not necessarily being unfriendly as much as he was misunderstood being so, sitting on a worn couch reading his mail. He became a sloppy, scatter-brained, easily distracted pack rat who loves books. Living alone in a dark bungalow with a shaggy dog. I imagined half empty tea cups on stacks of books and several work areas where he would flow through the house working on music. I could go on thinking about him and his life. Maybe a short story one day. We'll see.

5 comments :

Judith said...

This is awesome. It makes me want to try it.

Sydney said...

It's like madlibs, except the blanks are filled in and the filled in parts are blanks. Ooh! Or improv comedy! Pete won an award in high school for "writing" improv comedy. What he did was write locations, emotions, things, characters and whatever other random crap he thought of on scraps of paper that were put in a hat. The improvers had to draw a couple and do a scene. (His favorite was four quadriplegics on a roller coaster. Sure, at first it sounds mean, but once you realize it's high school improv from 1997, get over it, and think about it, that's really hard to act out convincingly!) But maybe you could try something similar with the spelling words when you're really stumped. You could get the whole family involved. You draw a word from the hat and create a sentence from it. Then the next person draws a word and has to make a sentence related to the first. Hey, this is a pretty good idea. I think I might patent this as a game. Shall I call it "Leah's Hat" or "Yvonne's Hat"? It will come with a real old-fashioned man's hat out of which to draw cards. Ooh, and as a Simpson's reference, there will be a Yoko Ono edition which will also include perfume and a plum. Also, I just tried to spell Simpsons "sympsons" so maybe I should not be the boss of actually writing the words. Perhaps we should go into business together - between us we have three "y"s in our names! I mean, come on! That's a totally meaningless observation! Oh my goodness I'm tired. I'm going to stop filling your blog with my nonsense and go to bed. :)
Also, the word verification should definitely be in the game: "ggjyz". I don't know what it is, but I'm sure it's Science.

Judith said...

What did he do when he found the book in the pantry?

Yvonne said...

Well I imagined him blankly looking at the book in a kind of "Oh there it is" kind of expression and setting it aside again only to be misplaced thus beginning the process all over. I should try to work in some of those other words too. Think, think, think.

Yvonne said...

Pete is a nut and I would love to hang out with you guys...too bad the middle of this country gets in the way. New game idea cool! Yeah that is something to try out though only word nerds like us would go for it, even better!