9780805078510

I Am a Pencil A Teacher, His Kids, and Their World of Stories

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780805078510

  • ISBN10:

    0805078517

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-07-01
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

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Summary

n 1995, writer Sam Swope gave a workshop to a third-grade class in a Queens school bursting at the seams with kids from around the world. So enchanted was he with his twenty-eight students that he 'adopted' the class for three years, teaching them to write stories and poems. I Am a Pencil is the story of his years with this very special group of students. It is as funny, warm, heartbreaking, and hopeful as the children themselves. Swope follows his colorful troop of resilient writers from grades three to five, coaxing out their stories, watching talents blossom, explode, and sometimes fizzle. We meet Cindy (whose mom was a Taoist priestess), Brian (who cannot seem to tell the truth), and Lourdes (a wacky Dominican chatterbox). Preparing his students for a world of adult dangers, Swope is astonished by their courage, their humanity, and most of all, their strength. I Am a Pencil is a book about the power and magic of imagination, providing a unique window on the immigrant experience as seen through the lives of children.

Author Biography

Sam Swope is the author of several very well-received children's books, including The Araboolies of Liberty Street, The Krazees, and Gotta Go! Gotta Go!, and of the soon-to-be published Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

PREFACE
The Blackbird Is Flying
3(20)
GRADE THREE: THE BOX PROJECT
Becoming Mr. Swope
23(4)
Mrs. Duncan
27(1)
Write a Story, Any Story
28(5)
Which One Is Su Jung?
33(4)
I Do! I Do Believe in Fairies!
37(7)
Hunting for Stories
44(4)
The Christmas Spirit
48(4)
Courage
52(5)
How to Kill the Parents
57(6)
Your Child Is Wonderful
63(5)
You Don't Got No Friends
68(3)
The Little Liar
71(9)
All That Glitters Is Not Gold
80(5)
Sugar Plum Saves the Day
85(4)
Kindness and Doom
89(5)
A World without Story
94(7)
GRADE FOUR: THE ISLAND PROJECT
All about Me
101(5)
Mr. Swope Redefined
106(2)
Poetry 101
108(7)
The Animal in Miguel
115(5)
Surprise!
120(2)
The Queen Mother of the West
122(6)
The Fantastic Binomial
128(5)
The Great Tribulation
133(5)
The Case of the Missing Report Cards
138(7)
La Vieja
145(4)
They Go All the Way Down
149(4)
The Island Project
153(4)
Blubber Island
157(3)
Whose Story Is It, Anyway?
160(5)
Miguel's Island
165(3)
The Ludicrous Girl
168(5)
The Black Plain
173(5)
Party Island
178(5)
GRADE FIVE: THE TREE PROJECT
A Tree Is
183(9)
Dear Tree
192(5)
The Park
197(8)
The Middle School Problem
205(5)
Max in Control
210(5)
Afros, Chinos, and Skittles
215(5)
The Willow Tree
220(8)
How to Draw a Tree
228(4)
Night Writing
232(4)
The McDonald's Conferences
236(6)
The Stalwart Boy
242(5)
Emotion Recollected in Tranquillity
247(5)
Snow Poems
252(2)
The Bud Lesson
254(8)
Epithalamium
262(2)
The Story Trees
264(3)
The Mountain Climber
267(8)
A Spring Surprise
275(4)
Who Is Su Jung?
279(4)
Loose Ends
283(6)
Good-bye and Good Luck
289(6)
EPILOGUE 295(4)
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 299

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