It’s a lawless form of writing for children and adults who are willing to live outside of the formal writing paradigm .
It’s an exercise for students of all ages that helps reduce writer’s angst and gives you the opportunity to say: “Skip the spelling, punctuation, topic sentences, and all that jazz—just write.”This exercise is short and sets the stage for students to come up with some truly creative ideas. The brain loves it, too.
The rules for Crazy Writing are simple; pay no attention to:
And remember: NO CROSSING OUT!
And no THINKING
If you find yourself thinking and going, “uh, uh, uh,” then write the topic down again., and something will come to mind. Don’t think. You don’t have to stay on topic either. If you are writing about a video game and all of a sudden you think about what you are eating for dinner, write that down. Gems can come from this kind of non-thinking.
Once students know the rules (or lack thereof), I tell them that they are going to write for one minute. (My guess is that you will see many smiling faces.) I say: “I am going to give you a topic and you tell me everything you know about that topic. Just write what is in your brain at the time. For example, if you are writing about baseball and all of a sudden you think about what you are having for dinner, write about what you are having for dinner. Don’t think. If you draw a blank about what to write, just say the topic to yourself, ‘baseball,’ and see what thought your brain pulls out. If nothing comes, just write ‘BT’ (brain thinking). Write as fast as you can. Don’t worry about what other students are doing.”
Some possible topics:
I don’t remember ever…
Old people can’t….
Old people can….
I never want to . . .
People ought to . . .
Kids behave better when…
I was embarrassed when . . .
I say to my students, with great exuberance. “Okay, pizza! When I say pizza, what is the first thing you think of?”
Joey, a second grader, says, “The last time I ate pizza, the sauce ran down my face.”
I say, “That’s perfect Harry. That’s a great start. So write that down and keep going.”
I like to write with the kids. So here is mine.
“Pizza, I love pizza but it doesn’t love me. It’s hard to eat one piece. But when I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, I ate a lot of pizza. It’s so good. The oil leaks out from the pizza and the cheese doesn’t fall off. The crust is thin, so very thin and each bite causes me to say, “OMG, this is soooo good. Pizza, I think I’ll eat the crust that’s left over in the box because my nephew always leaves that over.”
“The last time I ate pizza the sace ran down my face. My mom wipt it off and she laft.I love pizza. My grandma is from Itili and sometimes she makes pizza but i like pizzafrom dominos much better. my mom says i shud not tell her that.”
Joey’s topic sentence came from a natural place in his being. It’s a great way to start a story. It’s a lot better than, “I like pizza!”