When I was little, I loved Benjamin Elkin’s story of The Big Jump, in which a young boy finds a stray dog he hopes to keep.
The boy and the pup become fast friends, but unfortunately, in this land only kings are allowed to own dogs. The king, who can spring from the ground to the top of his castle in one leap, promises the boy he may keep the pup if he too can jump to the top of the castle.
Well, the motivated lad goes home to practice but, try as he might, he can only scale two boxes. And then . . . an idea strikes!
Returning to the palace, he finally does succeed in jumping to the top. How on earth does he accomplish this? Well, the king has never told him he must do it in a single bound! So the clever boy takes it one…step…at…a…time!
Delighted by the boy’s “out of the box” approach, the king awards him the coveted dog.
Writing is a lot like this. Our kids want to make The Big Jump, leaping from blank paper to final draft in one stride. But when they realize that their target is more reachable by taking smaller steps, they begin to believe they can do it. And in the end, they achieve a worthy goal: a polished composition they’re proud to share with others.
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Do you struggle with teaching, editing, and grading your teen’s writing? Are you looking for ways to integrate the steps of the writing process into your lesson plans? Perhaps WriteShop is the answer. Visit www.writeshop.com and poke around. About WriteShop and Parent Testimonials may be good places to begin.
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