“Talking about books helps people to live and to read better… We talk to identify with new heroes, to dream new lifelines, to weave new stories into the fabric of ourselves. We talk about books because we believe in the education of the heart, but also because talking about books helps children read more thoughtfully, to speak and write more fluently.”
This quote from the book Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins encourages parents and teachers to not only read with their children and students, but to discuss stories and lessons within them at length.
Author and educator, Mortimer Adler agrees saying, “Some people think a good book is one you can’t put down, but I think a good book is one you must put down –to muse over, to question, to reflect on.” When children are able to discuss, reflect and make connections they will have more understanding which will make their writing flow.
Here are some activities promoting story discussion in the classroom to empower writing.
Tabletop Twitter: Students are given a small passage of thought provoking text, write a response (maybe 140 words or less) then discuss with their group members or the class.
Roll and retell/rewrite: students roll a dice and write their response on the white board or in groups to the corresponding question of the dice.