Well Gretchen's first step is the narrative essay.
It's really easy. And really fun.
A third grader can do it and you can do it too!
Answer some simple questions in one sentence and "bam!" you have a kernel essay. The little baby beginning of what could grow into something beautiful.
And it really is fun for adults to do also. My colleague and I were at the conference and all teachers made kernel essays. They were a ball to share!
And so easy...
Step 1. Think of a list of significant memories.
Step 2. Pick the most significant.
Step 3. Answer the "kernel" questions.
(1. Where were you and what were you doing? 2. What happened first? 3. What happened next? 4. What happened last? 5 What were your final thoughts?)
Here was mine.
The Driveway Talk
1. We were standing in Jacob's driveway next to my little blue Colt.
2. We all became silent and Bessie Ann suddenly said she had to go to the bathroom and left us alone.
3. We stood in silence and stared at each other for a long time.
4. We talked about our futures for hours and said good bye and I drove away...
5. Sometimes seemingly ordinary moments can redirect our lives.
My students have made little "baby" essays like this and grown them into some beautiful pieces of work that both they and I loved to read...
Give it a try!
And my little baby essay? Well.. it was the beginning of a very beautiful relationship... That led to a beaded engagement ring over cold Ethiopian food in a little Ethiopian hut...
Photo by the amazing and sassy Kristin Bednarz :)