This writing and personal essay experience will help kids explore storytelling and their own narratives. Jo-Ellen uses "Cross the Line" to prompt children to think about things they've done and experienced in their own lives. Kids will be asked and ask one another yes/no questions like, "Have you seen the new Batman movie?" and "Have you ever climbed a tree?" They'll cross the line (a tape or chalk line on the ground) whenever the answer is 'yes.'
After the intro activity, kids will circle up with Jo-Ellen and talk about how the questions made them feel, and what other memories came up for them. They'll share ideas and get some time to journal personal stories.
Finally, kids will write their own one-page narratives, and everyone will present to the group. This light and fun experience encourages kids to think and reflect throughout summer, with some work on spelling and grammar.
Jo-Ellen has had an extensive career in teaching, and taught for nearly 30 years. She was a middle school English teacher for grades 6-8, and a Reading Specialist for grades K-3 students with whom she worked in small groups. She currently teaches 7th grade, and supervises an after school homework club for 1st and 2nd graders. Prior to teaching, Jo-Ellen worked as an editor, and earned her Bachelor's degree in English.
Jo-Ellen is vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.