Quick Writes are daily short writing activities I ask students to respond to upon entering my classroom. While I'm taking attendance, collecting homework, etc., students are responding to a writing prompt, quote, video, or a picture. I require students to provide a creative title, the date, and a response that should be a minimum of 7-10 sentences long. Recently, I had students respond to The Piano - an animated short film in which an old man shares his life story with his young grandchild. Here are a few responses from my 8th graders:
"The old man plays the piano to connect with the music in a way that comforts him. The expression he plays with is portrayed through the various characters, or people in his life. The somber music takes him back through his life and all of its tragedies until he reaches the time when he first learned to play the piano. Then, looking back, you can see that even through his bad times, he still continues to play so that he is able to travel back and once again become a child through his music."
"The first woman was the grandmother, or his wife who passed away. The army man was his close friend, the first boy was him, and the second boy was his grandson. All of them, with the exception of his grandson, were love ones he had lost. When his wife kisses him on his cheek, you can see that he deeply misses her. When his friend is shot he feels a great sorrow and maybe guilt that he couldn't do more. Then he remembers the stick horse and his grandson who makes the pain of the ones he lost vanish."