Thank you to Boston’s Jewish Community Day School for inviting me to participate in their annual Middle School Humanities Day Festival last month. What a fun morning it was talking with the kids and having them share their writing.
I still have my first “clip”, published in my local paper when I was 11-years old- the same age as some of the JCDS workshop kids. I decided that my workshop theme would be to introduce the kids to basic journalism and to introduce the basics of writing a service article.
Everyone likes to share what they think of their favorite places – just look at the rise of anonymous review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. I offered the kids the opportunity to write their own version of my book Insiders’ Guide to Massachusetts . The kids would each write a 30-50 word review of a favorite place for an Insiders’ Guide to Boston- Middle School edition.
The kids took right to it.They wrote reviews of the New England Aquarium, Rosenfeld’s Bagels, Melrose House of Pizza, Sofra and many others.
T. wrote that “C& N is a small, local pizza restaurant located in Newton close to “the circle of death” over the Mass Turnpike where the owners are nice and companionable. The food is cheap but good quality and you can buy a slice of pizza for $1.65.”
A. wrote about the local frozen yogurt shop, Sweet Tart “…where most people get their yogurt for take -out so that they can enjoy it while taking a nice walk. And sometimes they swap out the flavors and switch out the toppings.”
The kids ranged between the ages of 11 and 13. I was amazed by the JCDS kids’ ability to write descriptive text in a short amount of time. Privacy concerns made me hesitant to take photos at the school, so I sadly don’t have any pictures of the gorgeous JCDS campus or of the actual event. Trust me though there was a lot of creativity going on in that room! The pleasure was all mine.