I'm looking for some new ideas for a project I'm working on, so I asked my kids and then the carpool to help me brainstorm. I asked them this question: Name some ways a kid can get in trouble. Here are some of their answers.
1. Doing drugs
2. Giving their mom a spanking
3. Hanging their leg out of a moving car
4. Having a meatball fight
5. Spitting gum at the teacher
6. Reading on the school bus (???)
8. Playing baseball in the house with a really big ball
9. Unbuckling your seatbelt to crawl in the front seat and change the radio station
10. Making bubbles in your milk
11. Paying someone $2 to kick someone else
12. Accepting $2 to kick someone else
13. Taking someone else's pencil
14. Climbing over the stalls in the bathroom at school
15. Using your sister's favorite shampoo
16. Losing your ipod
17. Hiding your teacher's clothes
18. Sneaking into the teacher's lounge
19. Doing somersaults in the carpool
20. Running down the halls at school singing Mary Had a Little Lamb really loudly
21. Opening your lunchbox all the time just to smell it
22. Eating everyone else's lunch
23. Talking back to your parents
24. Calling someone a moosehead
25. Saying a curse word like stupid or ugly
26. Messing up a book
27. Bringing toys in your bookbag
I wish I had begun to write them down sooner (but I was driving) because there were so many great ones. I'm going to ask again this afternoon, but I definitely have some fodder for writing. I could do a writing exercise with each one, and it's great stuff to use when I work with classes on writing.
The cool thing about this conversation is that the kids start with an idea, then they go on and on and on to develop the whole story in their minds. It automatically prompts a story for them. You see how these good readers innately know the structure of a story. They set up the character, they show his problem, the complications ensue, then they begin to search for a solution. So what that says to me is that we're all, by nature, storytellers. But we can squelch it if we think the process to death.
So Moms and Dads, ask your kid this question today. See what kind of stories emerge. And if you get any great or funny answers, please share! Or maybe you remember some of your own tight spots...
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.