Yesterday I was teaching my Year 7s (the first year of high school in Australia) Creative Writing. They are a learning enhanced class which means there are a range of intellectual and learning disabilities.
We were learning the structure of a story, using the primary school method of Orientation, Complication, Events and Resolution (O.C.E.R.). It works for any writer really; it’s the fundamental structure to any scene whether it’s for a short story or a novel.
I gave them an opening line, “I had my costume all planned out; I was going to be a superhero” and after a brief planning session, they were set to work. While they wrote theirs, I plugged my laptop into the data projector and wrote my own. It’s best practice to model what you’re after.
It’s far from perfect but it showed my students what to do.
So here it is for your… pleasure… or interest… or something.
I had my costume all planned out; I was going to be a superhero. Sitting on my bed I could see it hanging from the wardrobe door. It was a spectacular outfit: black tights with red lightning bolts down the outside of the legs, a red t-shirt with a black lightning bolt on the front and the bestest cape ever. My Mum made it for me.
I am Super B. I seek to right the wrongs, make this world a safer place, and have doughnuts for afternoon tea.
Once Mum let me outside to play, I put on my costume and hit the streets of our cul-de-sac, ready to be the hero. It was a quiet afternoon; only the neighbour’s dog, Scruffy, was outside the fence so I put him back.
I felt pretty good having done my helpful deed for the day. Standing on the footpath I put my hands on my hips and held my best superhero pose. But there was no wind to make my cape fly out behind me so I felt a bit silly.
Was there no other good deed to do today? Not much of a superhero if you only get to do one good deed.
There was a squeal from up the street and the rattle of plastic trike tyres on the footpath. Mrs Jenkins from Number 96 was yelling as her little Patty went hurtling down the footpath on her runaway tricycle.
Patty’s feet were blurry circles as the pedals span faster and faster, threatening to throw her off. Her tiny mouth formed the biggest “O” I’d ever seen and from it came the loudest scream, enough to scare the cat!
This is my chance, I thought. I can be the hero!
I twirled my cape and ran towards little Patty, before she became patty-cake all over the footpath. Putting my feet in the brace position and crouching down I readied myself for impact. Patty came closer, the screaming louder and louder. She was almost on top of me when I stepped to the side, swung my arm around Patty’s waist and lifted her to safety. The tricycle careened off the footpath and into the gum tree outside my house. I expected the tricycle to burst into flames. But it didn’t.
Mrs Jenkins stopped right in front of me, gasping for air.
“Thank you so much,” she said as Patty jumped into her open arms. “You’re such a hero for saving my little Patty Cake.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” I said.
“Come inside and have a biscuit,” Mrs Jenkins said. “You deserve something for your brave actions.”
“Thank you, Mrs Jenkins,” I said. A superhero always remembers his manners.
Mrs Jenkins fed me choc chip biscuits. She insisted I have two, and on my way out the door, she gave me one more.
Walking home I felt pretty darn good. I wiped the biscuit crumbs from my mouth, I didn’t want Mum to think I’d filled my tummy before dinner, and wondered what adventures Super B might have tomorrow.
I stood in our driveway, struck a superhero pose and thankfully there was a breeze to make my cape billow out. I surveyed the cul-de-sac and knew it was safe. It was good to be a superhero.