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My 4th grade son asked me to hang out with him at Oak Grove Elementary on his birthday. I believe when your ten year old wants to show off his class this says wonderful things about his school and his teacher, Cheri Jackett .

His teacher knows that I write both fiction and nonfiction for a living and asked if I wanted to speak about writing after the PBS show on the Dustbowl. Some of the students were writing historical stories, others were doing a report from a historians point of view. GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) would work for both of her class assignments.

This is what the students came up with for GMC:

Their goal – (what are these people going to do?)

  • move to the plains to grow wheat

Their motivation – (why are they going do this?)

  • free land
  • make money

Their conflicts – (what challenges are they going face?)

  • drought
  • price drops
  • dust storms
  • have to build a house

Good answers!

 

Then we tried another:

Their goal – (what are these people going to do?)

  • go to the Rocky Mountains to find gold

Their motivation – (why are they going do this?)

  • get rich
  • buy things
  • feed our families

But then we went deeper – motivation is emotional also. Yeah, we want to get rich, feed our families and buy bling- but why do we want to do this? Check out these impressive answers:

  • pride that we could do this or buy this
  • greed because we are jealous of other people who have this
  • becoming famous if you have gold
  • cool factor of having gold or being rich

Their conflicts – (what challenges are they going to face?)

  • no gold
  • the town went bust
  • ran out of money
  • no supplies
  • others stole the gold
  • got lonely
  • want to quit

Not only did they get external conflicts, but also the internal conflicts.

Way to go class!

 

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