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Sixth grade students participate in NaNoWriMo

December 13, 2019
By KCS Staff

Crafting an original story of at least 5,000 words in 5 weeks? No easy feat, but 27 sixth graders completed this ambitious goal as they participated in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge of writing a novel in one month.

Starting November 1, equipped with a composition book and pencil, students wrote every day in their language arts class. To prepare for their writing journeys, students worked through a young writer's guide workbook. They learned about outlining plot, developing characters, parts of a scene, and how to utilize the "four paintbrushes" of writing. Students tracked their individual progress on a classroom chart, watching their word count increase as they built their "writing muscle" through a consistent habit of daily writing.

All sixth graders reached the 5,000 word count goal, while a number of students wrote over 10,000 words, with a few stretching themselves to write a story of 13,000 words. When reflecting on his experience, Christopher Aguillon said it was interesting to see how his story progressed and the journey he took while writing. Audrey Branner learned not to underestimate herself, as she was both surprised and happy that she surpassed her writing goal.

Part of the inspiration for NaNoWriMo was sixth grade language arts teacher Mrs. Fowler. She has worked on her own novel for several years and participated in six NaNoWriMo events. Sharing her love of writing with students has been especially meaningful for Mrs. Fowler. As a result of this project, she watched her students grow in the belief that they can write substantial amounts as well as learn to push their creativity and sustain it throughout a piece. Perhaps most rewarding is watching these young writers explore their own thoughts and ideas and realize how fun it can be to tell stories.