Yesterday day I was teaching my students to write descriptively as part of a series of lessons on different text types. Half way through the lesson I asked them to close their eyes and their response was:
‘Only if you do miss!’ and so I did.
I described how I think of the island of Alderney in times of stress, walking along Braye Beach feeling the damp sand under my feet leaving an imprint trailing behind me, and the breeze in my hair; listening to the seagulls crying overhead and the waves lapping on the shore. I described discovering little sheltered coves, sun traps on beautifully sunny days, and listening out for Joey, the Islander aeroplane as it heralds the arrival of more visitors.
After a moment or two of silence the students opened their eyes and began to write about their own special places. It’s rare, with sixteen to nineteen year olds, to have the room so quiet that I felt the thought waves flicker as their pens flew across their paper. There was even an urgency in the hush as they proof read their work.
I had only asked for one paragraph but when I read them all back in the staffroom after the lesson I was astonished. Describing places from Dubai to Kashmir, from Southend to Blackpool, from the seaside to the busy London attractions, I read several pieces of magic. I was so proud of my students that I even read a couple of them out to my colleagues.
‘I can’t imagine ‘X’ writing that!’
‘Was that really ‘Y’s writing? Amazing!’
It was one of those red letter days at work. A shame it was a week early for our visitors though. I might ask their permission to share some with you.
A coincidence to complete this picture language was late today, when I received a reply from Visit Alderney about sending some brochures for my talks, because they attached this slide show to the email.
Enjoy the magic of Alderney!!!!!