What ARE the DGS writers going on about?
Quite simply, they were engaging on an observation exercise: I showed them a close-up image of said very small plant and they had to write what they saw.
Remembering the mantra: #Nofilter
What is brilliant about these responses is that they are diverging from superficial exterior observation to new untethered thoughts. With descriptions like ‘inside of brain’ they are venturing into the land of metaphor. Their close observations are opening up pathways of thought and links which, prior to this, were unavailable to them.
On the back of this task, we shared a few minutes of awestruck wonderment, as we read Margaret Atwood’s poem about moss (that would be ‘Reindeer Moss on Granite’, which you can read online here), exploring briefly where her observation takes her in this work, which is an exemplary piece of craft, expression and concision.
A personal highlight for me this week was being a fly on the wall as the young writers began to read their own drafts to each other, in small groups, putting into practice what they are learning about giving constructive feedback.
A special moment for many – sharing their own writing aloud for the first time. But also getting something back that can actually take them forward, keeping in mind that our work is so much of the time ‘in progress’.
It takes time (and so often, incisive feedback) to craft a strong piece of work!