Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A "Ralph Fletcher" Moment

Today, during read aloud, on our first day back, I finished reading Fig Pudding to my third graders.  After catching up on where we left off, I read the final two chapters.  Are you familiar with the book?  If not, please read it... it's one of my favorites.  
     I read the above line to my kids... it's comes right after Nate has cried for the first time since the death of their brother, Brad.  Nate and Cliff (the main character) are lying in bed talking about the stockings they had hung for their first Christmas without Brad (while staying at an inn).  Cliff placed a rolled up piece of paper in Brad's stocking.  And Nate was asking what was on it...
     Right after I read this line, there was an audible gasp from P. (a girl in my classroom on an ILP; her "fluency" affects her scores on the DRA II).  She looked up at me at said outloud, "That's HIS someday!"
     "Who's someday?"  I paused and looked at her.
      "Ralph Fletcher's.  He's writing about himself.  About his brother.  Remember, in Marshfield Dreams... his brother died.  He's writing about HIS brother.  He was thinking of HIS brother when he wrote that line.  It's his someday!"
     I looked at P.  I could see her mind was full!  Her "cogs" were moving.  "That's interesting," I responded, "I've never thought of it that way.  You've just totally changed my thinking!" (We are beginning a study of Synthesis, so this will be a perfect "in the moment" conversation to refer to when we get further into our study).
     "HIS someday... he finally wrote about HIS own brother..." P. continued, "It's amazing.  It's like the time I. (a boy) said that it's almost like Ralph Fletcher is right here sitting in front of us, telling us stories.  He is.  He's right here.  His words... they just, they just amaze me!  I just need to go write.  I want to do what he just did..."

     I love moments like this!  When our grandest thinkers come alive, mesmerized by someone else's words... thanks Ralph!  You made my teaching life (and P.'s writing life) that much better!


  1. Beautiful! Those are the moments I live for as a teacher.

  2. WOW! Powerful stuff! (Great book, too...that always helps!)

  3. What an amazing story! I have to say I never quite made the connection either, but I wonder if she's right? I've heard RF speak several times, and he talks about writing what you know.

    So clever of her to piece that together.

  4. What a great story! Having read Fig Pudding first, when I read Marshfield Dreams, I thought the stories must be related.