Thursday, August 12, 2010

Writing Dialogues: Jolene!

I made a CD to use with my summer students, thinking we'd write from it, imagine different songs as background music in different scenes--they turned out to be really into dancing (except the second graders, but that's another story) so we ended up dancing a lot, and the three hits of summer 2010 in my classroom turned out to be "Supersonic," by J.J. Fad; "The Love You Save," by the Jackson 5; and "Jolene," by Dolly Parton. All three of these were, "Can we hear that song again?" hits.

My students were having conversations about "Jolene" as they were leaving class, as in "That's messed up, Jolene needs to get her own man," so this seemed like a good opportunity for an exercise driven by student interest.

So we wrote plays, and I ended up passing out the lyrics to "Jolene" so we could talk about them, and write the play of "Jolene"--what happens next? Does Jolene leave the singer's man alone, since he's the only man for her and Jolene can have any man she wants? We discussed who the characters were in this play, gave names to everybody who isn't Jolene, brainstormed some potential settings, and got to work.

Jolene #1, by the third grade class

Jolene goes to Maba's house and rings the doorbell. Maba opens the door.

Jolene: I really want your man. Can I please get him?

Maba: N-O. No.

Jolene: Yes I can.

Maba: Come in.

Jolene: Can I have a drink of water please?

(Maba brings her water.)

Jolene: Thank you for the water. And where's Jack?

Maba: Jolene, Jolene, please don't take my man just because you can.

Jolene: Let's split him.

Maba: Split him in half? How do we split him?

Jolene: You can be his wife, and I'll be his girlfriend.

(Maba gives Jolene a wedgie. Jolene jumps out the window.)

Maba: Sorry?


Jolene #2, by the fourth graders

Michaela sees Jolene at the mall.

Michaela: Jolene!

Jolene: (looks back) It must be my imagination.

Michaela: It's not your imagination, it's me. You can't take my man, because he's the only one I love. Let's have a deal. Let's let John pick who he's gonna be with.

Jolene: It's a deal.

(John comes over.)

John: I don't know who I want to be with.

Michaela and Jolene: PICK ME! No, pick me! Pick me!

John: Stop saying pick me! I have an idea. You could both have a race. The winner gets the man.

Jolene and Michaela: (They shake hands.) Deal!

The fourth graders had to go write their own endings in their journals.

Marente's end: They ran to the tall building and ran back and Michaela won.

Kristine's went like this: Michaela and Jolene become friends, they both dump John.

Jolene: You can have the man.

Michaela: No, why don't you have the man.

Daquani got off to a slow start, but I left him alone after I asked him, "What does Jolene say when Michaela says that?" and he said "I don't know. I gotta see." I totally know how that is.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

This is seriously awesome. Your students are so creative!