Kids communicate today by doing a flying fingers act, texting on smart phones, computers, tablets, etc. But how do they get a sense of who they are, where they came from?
Wednesday evenings during February, I taught 30 people how to write short memoirs, single-event stories of something that happened in their past: their first day at school, a Chinese funeral when a child, playing in the snow (this is an exotic experience to a Hawaii child), exploring caves with a brother behind the family property, how I met your mother, etc.
The first day of class, I read an anecdote out of my book, WHAT THE WITCH DOCTOR TAUGHT ME, then we all shared possible stories from our own lives that we might write about. I also taught them how to do a simple way of outlining to help organize their stories using circles.
Second and third class, we broke into groups of three to share our stories and make suggestions, give feedback, on them.
Fourth and last class, we read our stories to the whole class. It was delightful! Hawaii has such a wide variety of ethnicities, affording a still wider variety of experiences.
I encouraged the class to put their stories in a folder or otherwise make them attractive. One woman scanned and color-printed photos of the horse she was writing about. I made suggestions on how to use the stories: for a grandchild's eighth birthday, send them a story of when you were eight. At Christmas, send a story about a typical Christmas morning when you were a child. And so on.
Everyone seemed to have a good time!