Yesterday afternoon I spent some time visiting 5h graders at Driftwood School right here in Port Orford. The teacher and I had discussed in advance the various writing skills I could incorporate in my weekly visits as a volunteer.
I decided to show them the cover of the latest New Yorker, the one with the blended pictures of George Washington and Barack Obama titled, The First. The kids got it right away. They discussed how both of these men were the first.
The activity that followed was a letter to President Obama. The chatter was about how best to address him, Mr. or Mr. President, or President Obama, or President Barack Obama. Then, again, more chatter on wether to say black, or non-white, or African-American, or... Some more chatter about how much to say. How many sentences? Can we really send this letter? What is the address? Will he really read these letters?
After an hour, most of them had written a couple of sentences that were proud to show me, had looked up many words in the dictionary, and had stated their opinions on some political issues. Next week, we will polish the letters and send them off.
I will have to explain that they may not get answers.