Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 9 #sol19

Anticipation felt palpable, as all of us parents waited in the foyer.  Through the tall front windows of the school, the night.  Finally, the invitation: “Welcome to our cultural fair, everyone!” came the enthusiastic voice of my daughter’s teacher.  “Please join your children downstairs, and witness their hard work!”

Over four separate days and 30+ hours, my daughter, her best friend, and their two moms had worked diligently to create a life-like, fully-clothed and fully- adorned paper mache likeness of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and nature.  See photo here:


In addition, my daughter had written an eight-page epic poem, a report, and a fictional story depicting the life a person living in Ancient India.  With taking on such ambitious work, she had worried a little about completing it all.  Could this get done? But she and her team had seen it through to the end.

And tonight, she would share all of her hard work with an audience.

Walking into the gymnasium, I gazed upon the stunning variety of projects on display.  Replicas of Ancient Indian jewelry, models of the ancient city of Mojenjo Daro, recreations of ancient weapons of war… the creations of these fourth and fifth graders (and families, of course) took my breath away.  Wow.

Crossing the floor to the far side, I spotted my daughter and her friend posed with pride behind their creation, now clothed in Ancient Indian attire.  I watched as a smile crossed my daughter’s face upon my approach.  “Well girls,”, I said, “let’s hear it!”  Working in perfect tandem, the two girls launched into a knowledgeable talk about their project, the historical and spiritual significance of Saraswati, and the symbolism of all they had decided to display.  Their learning was truly impressive.  As were all the children that evening.

Later, as she quietly lay in her bed, I asked how she felt about the night.  “Good,” she sleepily responded, “We got lots of questions.  And compliments.”  I could tell she felt good.  And I kissed her forehead, as she faded off to a well-earned sleep.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

8 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 9 #sol19”

  1. They did take on a lot of work! Brava! It is always great when that feeling of satisfaction and being appreciated for a job well-done envelopes you like a warm, snuggly blanket! Were you able to take a video clip of their discussion with their audience? What a project – an eight-page epic poem, too? Wow, wow, WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I took a short video of them presenting. Adorable and so thoroughly impressive! I am one of those parents that stringently limits my kids’ images on social media, however. Rest assured it was awesome, though! Thanks for your comment!


  2. I love how you told the story of the process bigger than the story of the product. What she learned from this product is far bigger than what she ended up making. (Although what she made was beautiful). I like the idea that the photo takes up the product space in your piece and the words are mostly about process. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have a schoolwide multicultural fair…but most of the work is done by our parents, so it’s more of a carnival of sorts. How much more meaningful for the students to do the exploring and creating! It’s a thought I’ll share with my leadership team.

    Liked by 1 person

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