It struck me that this was just the kind of thing I was looking for to get J more interested in writing. So I presented him with the challenge and the following ten words: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph and cartography. He wrote for 20 minutes and we edited together. Here is the result.
The Map Maker's Hero
There once was a very fine man who was skilled in cartography. He was riding down the highway when a magical serial killer approached. The killer made the cartographer's (whose name was Henry F. Salvation) eyes become blurry and writing hard to read. Henry was becoming poor because he couldn't do his work any more. One day, his hero, Map Maker, came. Henry asked for an autograph. Map maker said, "Use your imagination to defeat the killer." When Henry set out to find the killer, he looked to the side and saw mirror images. He found the killer roasting marshmallows. Henry used his green power to create a partition between them. He also made green ropes to to tie him up and he took him to jail. Oh yes, he took away the killer's powers. Then he used his green power to make himself see to far lands and his writing neater.
I love that he was excited to write and that I got to teach him a little about the process. For each mistake we corrected, we talked about why the correction was necessary. It was a quick, fun, and painless writing lesson which we will be able to complete each week.
I'm already a little tired of the super-hero genre, but I have to remember that he is nine and he is writing. For that I am glad.