List and the Interpret a Moment

Read a MomentThis is a great idea for a classroom activity.

It involves reading a moment by paying attention to our senses, listing everything that crosses our minds, and then interpreting that list.

Tina Welling explains it all in her book “Writing Wild”

“Readings of the moment are a playful interaction with the natural world, yet revealing, as is anything in life to which we give our attention.

By a reading, I mean a brief listing of the things that attract your attention in your environment. The reading can be done indoors, though prefer outdoors because of the vitality and constant change of the natural world. . .

A reading has two parts: the list and the interpretation. . .

For a moment, close your eyes, then open them and begin a quick list of everything that catches your attention. Include people and animal sightings, bird sounds, fleeting images, thoughts, feelings, colors, smells, body sensations, ideas, weather, Use all five senses to gather your data. Whatever occurs to you, jot down on your page and date it.

Now do a brief interpretation of this list. Respond in writing . . . and pursue any trains of though or emotion that particularly interest you.”

How to Use This for Your Class

I would first demonstrate the activity in the classroom by following the steps above. I would then working together with the class to create a list on the board. Next, I would use my experience to interpret a few of the points. Finally, I would ask a student or two to share some of their personal interpretations. Then we would be ready to go outside and try this individually.

Students could then share their lists and written interpretations if they were comfortable doing so. If not, I think I would just let them keep it in their personal writing (not-to-be-shared) books. These books are very important to have in the classroom. Not all of your writing needs to be shared.

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