A Slice of Life

Writing Questions

My Own Slice of Life on Writing Questions

I’m reading a book with my fourth grade class called Live Writing: Breathing Life Into Your Words by Ralph Fletcher. Chapter four in this book is written about Carolyn Coman’s thoughts on creating characters in her own writing. She likes to write letters to her characters and ask them questions because she believes everything starts with questions. She wrote about how her writer’s notebook is filled with questions about everything. I read this chapter to my class today and we discussed having questions to ourselves and questions to our characters in our notebooks. We also discussed the idea of when we are facing a blank piece of paper, we should look to our own questions to overcome writer’s block and begin to write about our wonderings in life. So I began to wonder…

Why do I have two children at home when several doctors told me that it was impossible for me to ever be a mom?

Why are some people lucky enough to have their parents with them here on Earth well into their adult lives while others have to suffer the loss of their parents as children? Why would parents ever have to face losing a child?

Why are there different kinds of religion that all hold the same belief in the existence of the same God? Why aren’t they all just one religion and why don’t they all just practice religion the same way?

Why do two year olds master the art of language when it comes to using an inappropriate word or phrase that they only heard one time and repeat it at the absolute worst possible moment?

How do people adjust to never sleeping after having children? I used to be a really good sleeper. How am I surviving on very few hours of sleep?

Why do relationships between husband and wife have to change after their children are born? What happens to the little things that make being in the relationship so fun? Where does the friendship go?

And what about friends? Why are some people your friend for only a short time while other people are your friend for life? And where would I be without a few of my friends? What kind of person would I be without their influence and their love? Do they know what a huge impact they have on my life? Do they know how much I value their friendship?

Why did I choose teaching? What made me want to be a teacher? What impact am I having on my students? Will they remember the time we shared? Will they remember what we learned together?

Why is it so hard to say good bye to something like a house? Why do I feel sad when I think about my old house? I love my new house. So why do I feel like I am suffering from a loss when I think about the old house?

All of these and so many more are racing through my mind and now through my writer’s notebook. Carolyn Coman and Ralph Fletcher taught my fourth graders and I how to use our questions as starting points for our writing. I have already started writing ideas for a slice of life entry about my friends and my old house.

Now I’m looking forward to incorporating my wonderings and my questions into my writing as I continue to live as a writer.  

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Comments on: "Writing Questions" (6)

  1. Great questions! I also love the use of this book with you students. I have many of his books but not this one. I will have to go find it and share with my students. thanks

  2. Jill those are some amazing questions!!! You make me want to sit down and do some questioning/wondering!!! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. I love the depth of your questions. And the variety. Please put some of these aside for lunch conversation topics. :).

  4. Great questions and great things to think about!

  5. These questions are the beginning of some fierce wondering a just waiting to be written at length!

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