Have desk, will write
Image by Bright Meadow via Flickr

Here’s an interesting idea for a quick classroom activity that has potential for many discussions. This could certainly be applied in many different ways to students at all levels.

Begin by taking kids to this site: http://whereiwrite.org. It is a small site with one purpose: to showcase portraits of authors (they all happen to be in the science fiction genre) in the spaces where they do their writing.

A few thoughts come to my mind as I scan through the pictures:

  • Nearly every space is a work space. Creativity isn’t about flashes of inspiration. It’s about doing. And effort.
  • Almost every writer surrounds him- or herself with books. Dozens or hundreds of them. Writers read. A lot.
  • Writers are ordinary people. They have pets. They even have stained glass thingies hanging in their windows.

I think there’s a great lesson for students, especially reluctant writers.

Some other ideas for follow up activities:

  • Have students share photos of their writing spaces and talk about them
  • If you could create a better space to write, what would it look like? Why not create it?
  • How could we design our classroom space to make it better for doing our work?

What do you see in these photos? What questions would you ask of your students about these pictures? What else do they tell you about what writers do and how to be one?

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