Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Activating the Love Sac

Are you wondering what this is going to be about? That’s what good titles do.

Last night I had one of those cherished heart-to-heart conversations with my eight year old son. He was asking me how people fall in love. An honest question followed up by an innocent theory: “Mom, do people have a love sac in their bodies that gets turned on when they’re grown up?”

So you see, he wasn’t asking me about the love you feel for your parents or your brother or your grandma. This was about LOVE—the grown-up version.

Thinking back on this conversation, I find myself smiling. This is one of those “kids say the darndest things” stories I will share with my friends and family (unbeknownst to him to spare him any embarrassment). It’s a sweet story, one worth telling.

Imagine now that I called this story “The Love Talk” or “Talking about Love.” Would you be as interested in reading my story? I polled the students I was working with today about which story they’d be most interested in reading. It was unanimous. Everybody wanted to read “Activating the Love Sac.”

Teaching kids about writing titles has been relegated to “afterthought” status in my instructional repertoire. I am wondering today how that happened because ultimately, a title is our first encounter with a piece of writing. First impressions are lasting impressions and if we want readers to look further, we have to entice them. From now on, I am upping the ante on teaching titles. I want my writing students’ voices to be heard.

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