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Can We Write Anything?

Written by Keia Pannell
November 08, 2011

 “Can we write anything?” This question stuck with me for days after the assignment. I began to wonder why it was repeatedly asked by my students. Didn’t they understand the freedom they were given? Then it dawned on me that the idea of literally writing anything in school was a foreign concept to them. They were always met with restrictions or parameters on most writing assignments. This led me to think that maybe I could bring this idea to a larger audience, address the idea of authentic writing and thus put an end to the question, “Can we write anything?”

I had to put my thoughts aside for a while because it was video day. We went outside and I called the groups or individual students over one at a time and using a flip camera simply recorded them. After the video was put together I presented it to them and that was the cool part. They liked seeing themselves on “TV” and it was important that they chose words that were relevant to them. What was interesting to me was that they were writing and didn’t even realize that they were writing. It solidified for me that if you give students choice and only a few parameters that good writing can happen. A few students asked if they could get a copy of the video to show other people. They were proud of what they had done. That assignment took about 90 minutes total but I think it is something they will remember for much longer. 

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