Through the Wrong End of the Telescope: Fifth Grade Fantasy Writing
Fantasy literature can be whimsical, diversionary, and profound, sometimes all at once. The 5th grade class explored every angle of the genre in their recent writing unit, which culminated in a reading and book signing celebration on Friday, April 12.
Fifth graders became fantasy writers by studying the elements of mentor texts like The Giver. They established criteria of quality fantasy literature, then learned to create believable characters, follow a comprehensive plot, and use figurative language to make their writing more engaging.
Parents and teachers attended the celebration. Authors took turns reading from their latest works and signing copies for peers and guests. Students were excited for the opportunity to take home their own published stories as well as works by their friends and colleagues. They toasted their achievements as writers and the fact that every student hit every target on their project management board.
All year, 5th graders have been writing for a variety of reasons. Over the year, students have written memoirs, literary and personal essays, constructed responses, poetry, raps, and now fantasy. For many, fantasy was the highlight of their writing so far this year!
Students were particularly inspired by a quote of Dr. Seuss: “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”