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When we are brainstorming in class, in a workshop, when writing spoken word poetry or stuck at a creative impasse in theatre, I make everyone write lists based on a question.
Recently, we completed the question: What are 10 things you should know by now as a prompt for writing character monologues.
What amazing self-reflection and self-awareness comes out of these exercises!
My favorite list from a student of mine is below:
Ten Things I Should Know By Now
- How to tie my shoes correctly
- Cheese makes my stomach hurt
- Never trust someone who won’t look you in the eye.
- My mother is always right.
- Makeup doesn’t make you beautiful, natural confidence does.
- To start projects earlier.
- I can’t control other people.
- Always wear sunscreen.
- Where Estonia is on a map.
- Just be you. Always.
I loved that list. I can relate to every single one!
From the list my student wrote above, she ended up writing a one act play about an eighth grader’s advice to sixth graders on how to survive and thrive in Middle School. She called it Just Be You. Always. She turned it in two days early, clearly taking heed and note of # 6 on her list! It is a fabulous piece of work, as is she!
What are your Ten Things You Should Know By Now?