Kids Love Runes or How Politics even drifts into Elementary School

Showing picture books I brought along.

Showing picture books I brought along.

Every year I love participating in the Young Writers’ Workshop at Travis Heights Elementary School. 20 professional writers teach various workshops to 3rd-5th graders. I teach a class called “Take a step back in time..But beware! Watch where you step! Ogres, dragons, and evil knights await!”


This year, as usual, I shared the runic alphabet and some kids took delight in writing their stories in runes. Amazing.

Kids working

Kids working

I also give them a Story Element sheet with categories like Hero or Heroine (knight, princess, peasant); Place (castle, deep forest, deserted city); Person with Special Powers (could be good or evil: druid, magician, wise healer); Monster or Monstrous Creature (werewolf, green knight, dragon); and Faithful Animal Companion (deer, board, swan).

A story with a nice drawing

A story with a nice drawing

This year was special because one kid chose as his place Trump Tower, and as his monster Donald Trump.

The student's Story Category Sheet

The student’s Story Category Sheet

In his story, the Illuminati are tasked with dealing with the monster Trump who keeps wanting to build a wall. I have to say the story was pretty clever! But I was also a little sad. In a school with a majority of Hispanic kids, Trump’s pronouncements are clearly trickling down into family discussions at home and worrying our beloved neighbors in our city.

The bad guy's pronouncement

The bad guy’s pronouncement

These kids are so creative and reflective–it has been an honor and pleasure working with them!

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