I just found this Pixar guide to writing good stories on Huffington Post. It’s worth thinking about: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/pixar-storytelling_n_1718854.html?ir=Technology
And I spent the afternoon teaching at a local language immersion camp. I had to remember everything I’ve told others about teaching elementary kids, but then it was a whole bunch of fun. For one thing, the story is exciting for them. For another, they loved me without any reason. The theme this week is outer space, so we told a story about a Russian cartoon hero going from Saturn to Earth on a rocket-powered bicycle, then hopping to the sun in search of ice cream. Oh…the other great thing about elementary kids is that the story ends well. Even though one character laughed at the other, in the end Buratino was nice and gave up the sweet stuff.
Things I remembered to do: I asked the group to start by brainstorming just three places, three heroes, and three modes of travel. The kids drew those on the board. That limited our choices. I had one sweet girl pointing at the pictures, because we had a mix of immersion and new-to-Russian learners. That was a challenge! Finally, I had actors who got to participate. One was the sun! Only two or three were standing at a time, but I was trying to make sure everyone got a chance. We applauded a lot. And at the end, I sat everyone down at a table to draw the picture. I think that it worked out. Wish I could do that more often.