Encounters with Giftedness and writing with dragons
I was remembering a group of students I was working with on a writing workshop long ago.. it was a story about dragons on a different planet. Not very innovative, granted, as there are many stories out there about dragons. However, it was writers choice, so there you go. Kids like dragons. Gifted kids not excluded. The difference was, they decided that each dragon had to be part of the same story, however each dragon would have a special strength, that would help them on a quest, a strength that would be linked to their riders in some way. The idea being that this would get them to reflect on their inner selves and what they felt their strengths were, and how this would manifest in another (their dragons). (the writers were the riders.. you understand)… they would be searching the planet for a ‘lost dragon egg’.. (no novelty there either I am sure.. )… None of the students in this group in school had been identified as particularly able. The interesting thing about this story was the identification of one young lads perception of his strength and how this was displayed. Jake ( a fictitious name), was rather quiet, timid and seemed reluctant to join into the conversation, however oddly, his eyes seemed to off into another place, as the possibilities within the story idea where being discussed. A few minutes were given for the participants to draw a rough picture of their Dragons, which many did, complete with some of the various features associated with the ‘strengths and abilities’ they wished to attribute to their steeds.
We had many large and ferocious beasts, most breathed fire, had talons and special magic powers. Some were strong and athletic looking. Some were very smart, and could mind read, or outsmart enemies. Some were very colourful. We had a kind one that could heal others with it’s breath. Jake, now Jake worked on his slowly and carefully, and was one of the last to show me his sketch. I was taken aback by it’s unusual nature, as unlike the others it was not quite as big or bold or colourful. Jake’s dragon not only wore glasses (like Jake), it was drawn in black ink, and constructed from swirls and curls, graphic artish, with large and beautiful wings. More interestingly, instead of claws or talons, his dragon had pen nubs at the end of each toe on each foot.. When I asked him to tell me about this wonderfully intriguing creature, he replied ‘Well, as I am am ‘actually’ only good at writing, and I am not very strong, at sport or anything, I thought I would give my dragon the power to ‘Rewrite’. If I don’t like the way the story is going, or we need to change it than my dragons feet have the power to do that….. ‘ Wow..
I think that was a powerful gift for a dragon to have… I also think this was rather a good example of outside the box thinking from Jake. A sign of potential giftedness, maybe?? As a teacher, would I be giving this kid a second look? I like think about Jake now and then and wonder. I’d like to think he’s doing alot of rewriting and writing and that someday I may be reading and rereading his stories… ;-D