Sixth graders at Monroe Demonstration Academy shared their stories with fellow students, community members, school staff, and family at their first Author’s Tea.
Inspired by a story in Roald Dahl’s autobiography about a time he got into trouble in elementary, the students turned their own true stories into prose.
“To build the skill of storytelling and to go through the full writing process – making a draft, revising, editing, working with our peers, and then sharing that – we went through and made our own personal narratives about a time that we got in trouble,” said their teacher Laura Grisham.
On the day of the event, the sixth graders sat in chairs along the walls of the large room and waited for someone to approach them and ask to hear their story. Many were nervous, but they fought through their fears and read their stories anyway.
Kerrie’s essay “When I Left Mystified” described a time when she ventured too far from her house and was grounded for a month. She said Author’s Tea was a great opportunity for her class.
“I think it is an amazing event where we get to share the work that we did that we worked hard on for the whole month,” she said.
Pablo’s story “Neighbors” recounted an incident where he spray painted his neighbor’s truck because the kids said something about him.
“I was not the best kid when I was younger,” he said.
In the story, he reflected on mistakes he made and the lessons he learned. By telling the story, he was able to learn even more.
“I learned new vocabulary,” he said. “It was fun actually.”
“It’s been amazing to see how well they’ve invested in this. I know it’s been a big transition for our scholars, transitioning to a brand-new school, transitioning to middle school, but their investment more so than anything is what has been most impressive,” said Ms. Grisham. “The way they have been able to positively interact with one other and put into the work to go through this entire process.”
Ms. Grisham said she is planning more interactive events like this for her students in the future. If you are interested in attending the next one, follow Monroe on Facebook to watch for announcements.