Updated: Mar 10, 2022
The Pen Is Mightier Than The Screen
Beyond looking to inspire writers with Kid2Kid Lit, my side hustle is as a literacy specialist in my neighborhood elementary school. I work in a 1:1 technology school which means that every child has their own ipad, chromebook or MacBook. I think that is great and… as a lover of literacy I wonder what our students may be missing. As a child (and an adult too), I loved bright colored pens, fancy papers and the opportunity to be creative with my words in writing. So, I thought that this year outside my office at school, I would provide our students exactly that. I provide unique and fun pens, colored paper and the classroom teachers give them the time. On this particular day, I was working in my office and I could hear joy just outside my door. I peeked out and this is what I witnessed- 5 second graders on the hard floor, engaged in writing whatever their little hearts desired. There are notes to friends and families. Some were busy composing small stories. All were engaged in a task that in the classroom seems less appealing.
So, I was thinking about this some more. What makes a child want to sit on a hard floor to write? It truly isn’t the discount warehouse pens or the half pieces of pink paper...It’s the opportunity to create and choose.
In a tech world, our children get on their devices and use programs and apps that someone else has designed for a very scripted and specific outcome. The pen doesn’t do that. The pen desires what the child desires. The expectation is not to get the most right answer, but to know that in your own stories, every answer is right. There is not a prescribed level, but a flourishing of creativity and joy. The only expectations are the ones they set for themselves.
It may be fun for a while to pop the most sight word bubbles or earn the most spaceships, but what is really long lasting? Is it creating and sharing a story that is so important that they want to tell it again and again?
I think the pen is mightier than the screen and I think many young writers may agree.