Children who have attended any of my classes or workshops would tell you that grammar and spelling are the least of my concerns when they are writing drafts or doing 2-minute talks. Content always comes before form, I tell them. So we blabber, quick-write, free-write, list down, list around, make mind maps, think out loud, share in hushed whispers, blurt-out, draft. Draw and doodle, too, if they want.
When I ask them to write, a neatly-written grammatically-perfect single sentence (even if it’s compound-complex) is no match to a hodgepodge of ideas or a consciousness stream scribbled across a half or whole page. At least for me. Oftentimes, there’s bound to be more effective and affective thoughts in the latter. Because that is what we strive for. To squeeze out the words from our brains (and hearts, of course), let them flow through our arms, to hand holding pen or pencil. To drip-out if they don’t flow – onto paper, for eyes to see, for others to share, and then back through wherever vein or nerve it traveled through.
And then we go on, exploring.
Every now and then, a group of those scribbled lines take the form of neatly-written, (acceptably) grammatically-correct fluent narratives. Because later in the process, grammar and spelling and structure become a necessity (instead of a target) to ultimately fulfill the goal of sharing effective and affective word-thoughts. First drafts become second, or third, or fourth drafts. The initial jumble of words find their places among new versions and revisions. Ramblings and imaginings and feelings become writings.
Here are some of those, from a few brave souls who shared a few summer hours together in May 2014. They make me proud. – TesD