Words are Gifts


On our first day back at school, from our Spring break, there were many stories, adventures, experiences and sightings to be shared.

During our morning meeting, we decided to talk and listen. Students found a partner and had ten minutes to talk- talk about the Spring break. They alternated, one talks the other listens and vice versa.

Then, they had to choose a different partner and share. The third partner was the last and this seemed to go on forever. The class was filled with a wave of sounds, loud voices, excited and inquisitive voices. The students asked each other questions whilst listening. This was a frenzied activity. Nobody was quiet, even the students with little English or no English were not left out, they were encouraged to sketch and label as their partner did the same for them. I realized that images and illustrations have power if you allow them to. They have clear voices if the chance is given to them.

With that in mind, we had to make our words visible, so students were encouraged to sketch-note either their own stories or that of their friends. The voices still ringing in my ears, my students were filled with pride and could not wait to begin.

That is when I said to my teaching partner,

Everybody enjoys talking about themselves and their experiences.”

“We have to allow students to talk more and make their experiences visible.”


9 responses to “Voices”

  1. Talk is so important and and so is making time for this talk. It sounds like you’re fostering a beautiful community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Taking time like this to help students connect and think about THEIR stories is so important. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl Reynolds Avatar
    Cheryl Reynolds

    I could not agree with you more. We just did this yesterday due to the loss of electricity. It was a fabulous morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes… nothing can happen in a classroom without time for talk and sharing stories. Essential.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great way to have students share what happened over break and get refocused on the routine of a school day. We all have stories to tell and it is important to have an audience for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful peek into your first day back. I can hear your students’ voices, feel their excitement. They were sharing their own “slices of life” today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A story is better told be the actor himself. Children always need the audience to tell their stories to, to feel important and listened to.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your classroom is always so vibrant and alive. Kudos for making it happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your classroom is always inspiring. Just like us slicers, we write more powerfully about what we know best. I like the option you gave students to write someone else’s story. This means they really have to listen to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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