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My literary notebook

January 22, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

R_notebookMy son (almost 11) is currently on a Writing Challenge at school. The teacher gives the children the starting point of a story and they have to write a story consistent with it and as fast as they can. They have to write ten pieces. I knew about Reading Challenges (The pupils have to read books and answer questions about the story) but not about Writing Challenges to develop writing skills. I tell you this, literature classes weren’t that funny when I was in primary school. It sure beats the usual Please tell what you did during the holidays. He’s been so proud of his ten stories that I decided to give him a little of internet fame by publishing his favourite one on Book Around The Corner.

The idea was Pierre wonders if he’s not crazy. He just put his apple down for a moment to redo his shoe lace and when he’s finished, he only has an apple core. What happened?

Here’s my son’s follow up:


La journée est ensoleillée. J’en profite pour faire un tour au parc. Je me prévois, après avoir demandé à ma maman si je pouvais y aller, une pomme, au cas où j’ai faim. Je mets mes chaussures et j’y vais. En avant le plaisir ! Ah, enfin le voilà ! Le parc ! Je cours vers lui. Que j’aime cette sensation d’air frais. Ou plutôt chaud, c’est l’été tout de même ! J’entre enfin dans cet espace vert. Je fais un tour puis je m’assois sur un banc. Je sors mon fruit de mon sac, le prends et croque dedans plusieurs fois plus je finis par continuer mon tour en mangeant mon goûter. Soudain je m’arrête, mon lacet est défait ; Je pose mon sac par terre, puis ma pomme (sur mon sac, un peu de propreté, quand même) et je fais mon lacet. Mais au moment de me relever, je vois qu’elle n’est plus là, enfin, pour ce qu’il en reste, pour moi, elle n’est plus là. Je regarde autour de moi pour trouver qui aurait pu commettre un délit de la sorte ! A part deux enfants de cinq ans surveillés par leur mère, personne. Bizarre, mon champ de vision est vide. Je cherche des indices, des traces du voleur mais en vain. Je n’ai plus de pomme et rien à faire. Je rentre chez moi. Mais en arrivant, je découvre le coupable. Oooh, il m’a suivi ! Pris en filature ! Je n’en reviens pas quand je vois mon chien avec des morceaux de pomme entre les dents.

 Now the English translation.

It is a sunny day. I want to go to the park. After asking my mom if I could go, I take an apple with me in case I get hungry. I put on my shoes and here I go. To pleasure! Ah, here’s it is! The park! I run towards. How I love this feeling of fresh air! Or hot air, it’s summer, after all. I eventually enter this green space. I walk around and sit on a bench. I pull my fruit out of my bag and bite into it several times and I start walking again while eating my snack. I stop suddenly, my shoe lace is undone. I put my bag on the floor and then my apple (on my bag, a bit of hygiene, after all) et I redo my shoe lace. When I stand up, I see that my apple is missing or for what is left of it, it’s as if it were missing. I look around to find out who could have committed such a felony! Apart from two five-year olds watched by their mother, nobody. Strange, my field of vision is empty. I look for clues, traces of the thief but to no avail. I have no apple and nothing to do. I go home. But when I get there, I discover the culprit. Ooh, he followed me! Tailed me! I can’t believe it when I see my dog with apple bits between his teeth.

‘That’s all, folks!’ , says the proud mother.

Please note that he managed to put in a sentence so French I can’t translate it well into English: “En avant le plaisir!”

PS: the picture is the cover of his literary notebook.

  1. January 23, 2015 at 2:47 am

    That’s so cool, Emma. You may have a budding author there. We never got to do anything like that in school either.


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      It’s a fun thing to do. He has a great teacher.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. January 23, 2015 at 6:58 am

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it? 🙂 That’s a good program to improve one’s language (and communication) skills


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Well, he’s more interested in writing than in reading, I must say. I agree with you, it’s a good program: the kids love the challenge and among the 10 texts to write, there are a recipe, a letter, different genres. It helps developing writing skills.


  3. January 23, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Merveilleux – félicitations et encore!

    En avant le plaisir ! Ah, enfin le voilà ! – That I might greet every day like that!


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      En avant le plaisir is so French, Scott. Did you note that the boy asks his mother before going to the park? Seems like we achieved something in his education! 🙂


      • January 25, 2015 at 5:58 am

        I did notice that (but then I already knew you’d achieved something more than right…). Not that you need my permission, but I’ll say it anyway: go ahead, all of you, and beam with pride well-earned and well-deserved.


  4. January 23, 2015 at 10:10 am

    What a lovely story! Much more advanced than my 12 year old, I can tell you!
    I like the mystery element. And it is much more fun than reading comprehension, which both my sons absolutely hate and nearly puts them off reading!


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      I was surprised by what he wrote, to be honest. He’s not exactly fascinated by books and literature and more into asking questions such as “What are square roots used for?” I’d rather he asked questions about poetry, at least I could give an answer.


  5. January 23, 2015 at 10:50 am

    This is lovely, Emma! No wonder your son is so proud of his stories. Thanks for posting this – it brightened my morning.


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks Jacqui. I’m trying to get him interested in literature and share about the blog to show a fun side of books.


  6. January 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Cute. And I like the idea that they do that in school. It’s wonderful.


    • January 25, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks for him. I think it’s a great exercise. This “rallye d’écriture” is a lot of fun for the children, they like the challenge and it stimulates their imagination, it obliges them to write properly and care about spelling and grammar mistakes.
      It’s far from commenting Renart and Delphine et Marinette, which is what I did at his age.


  7. January 26, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Beautiful story, Emma! I loved the way the mystery is resolved in the end. Your son is very talented! I also can understand why ‘En avant le plaisir’ can’t be translated into English. I love the fact that they have writing challenges in schools at your place. It must be wonderful for the students.


    • January 29, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      It’s the first time I’ve seen such a challenge. It’s still going on, he wrote his thirteenth text.


      • January 30, 2015 at 11:28 am

        So wonderful to know that, Emma. Another wonderful writer in your family 🙂


  8. January 27, 2015 at 8:16 am

    this is so neat! Félicitations! De mon temps non plus on n’avait pas des trucs sympa comme ça à écrire!


    • January 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      C’est vraiment chouette. Il est super motivé, ça fait plaisir à voir.

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

        c’est comme ça que les carrières d’érivain commencent!


        • January 29, 2015 at 10:34 pm

          peut-être bien 🙂


  1. January 25, 2015 at 12:38 am

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