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Sarah Minor is a teaching artist at Corbett Elementary, and is pursuing her MFA in Nonfiction at The University of Arizona.
It seemed like I had just stepped into my classroom for that full first hour, my heart still aflutter, consistently surprised to look out and find 22 pairs of fourth grade eyes on me at all times. We had reached the heart of our first lesson, the crucial moment in which I transitioned from a partner activity to individual writing. If the students felt unprepared or uninspired at this point, I might find myself still the focal point of all those eyes rather than focusing their energy on the empty blue lines below their chins. “Okay class,” I said, “now you get to turn back to your own desks and write your own story about an imaginary city by yourselves!” To my left, David Jurkowitz’s eyes grew wide. He locked his elbows and raised his small fists in to the air and shouted, “THIS IS MY DREAM!!” And promptly fell over in his chair, having been balanced on two chair legs during my announcement. This, I thought, could be a good residency. Throughout our semester together, Ms. Pierson’s 4th grade class impressed me with their grasp of unique voices, their deep, dark tales and creatures, and the sharp honesty of their first nonfiction stories. They really were my dream, too.
Aidan Myerscaugh, Nonfiction Stories.
1. Try to put yourself in my shoes, well I guess you could. My dad said he would not be going to war anymore. This mean the war was over.
2. Did you know that a few days before I was born the president almost died. But since it didn’t the plane hit a ground. Everyone died but they are called the heroes of America.
by Aiden Myerscaugh, Corbett Elementary
The Darkness Beneath the Flesh
There was once a city as black as night. It sparkled despite the darkness, but It was an ominous flash. The city seemed to hold a deep dark secret, but the inhabitants didn’t even bother looking, for fear was as often as death. There was a dark lord who ruled there, with robes made out of shadows. All the inhabitants feared him, for they were made out of shadows, and the dark lord could falter their presence in the living with one flick of his hand.
by Madeline Zartisky, Corbett Elementary