Dark Story

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12 thoughts on “Dark Story”

  1. Margarita, I can relate. Been there too. My CI mentor suggested that I create a few ground rules before the story even gets started, and “no one gets hurt” and /or “no one gets killed” was one of them. That might help you next time so the students know they can’t go down those dark paths.

  2. I see it a little differently. Maybe it is my years as an ELA teacher. I like a little cartoon killing. You should SEE what I put in kids’ hands for Reading Workshop. YA lit is dark stuff.
    But with that said, I agree that we have to trust our inner radars and pull the plug when things take a turn down a path we would rather avoid.

  3. There is an interplay of how we feel and where are students are etc… There are OWIs with emotional problems but then the students have some of these too. The OWIS and Invisibles reflect life. For me, it is important to redeem the character and to bring some sort of positivity. Rarely are people one dimensional. Characters with chips and weaknesses sometimes are revealed as hurt but they end up helping someone or becoming the hero etc…

    I have used questions like “What is his negative trait” “What is his positive trait”. I use these to get more specific. There may be better wording.

    Having the darkness radar is important because of the interaction we have. We may mess up and get excited along with our students and may mislead them into that dark place. I avoid topics like killing. I make it IMPLIED. Like the old movies where someone “disappears” instead of getting bludgeoned. I think looking at story arcs in general can lead us. One idea I have is to watch my favorite movies and notice the story arc… the events a character experiences, the climax of the story and its resolution.

      1. Yes. I was saying yes after each of your sentences Steven 🙂 I also do the “nope…no can do” but it is not actually a reprimand for the kids. It is real discomfort for me and I can’t really do graphic violence of any kind. I have to really stretch myself in class because kids love scary creepy things and I am more of a goofball. I am also extremely sensitive and empathic so I literally feel physical sensations when stuff gets graphic.

  4. So, in our stories, one character, Britney the Burrito beat out Tomas the Taco in a taste-off to become the spiciest. She won and because of all her hard training, she was hungry so she ate Tomas. Sorta weird but I didn’t find it dark.

    In some of the other stories, we had a lot of action, some of which involved fighting and throwing stinky cheese bombs and icing grenades, and an army of marshmallows (3 different stories). However, that was the extent of the action and no one died.

    That said, I did realize that there was a lot of fighting. What are your thoughts on this?

  5. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Totally fine to satirize the violence for older kids IMO –
    I can’t have any violence other than maybe ‘hit’ – in grades 1-4 – and I’ve never even done that… .

    1. What you guys did, Dana, is great. I think the topic here is far different. It’s where the kids don’t see the light kind of violence as all in good fun but rather there is an underlying kind of satisfaction in seeing others harmed.

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