I’ve been thinking…
Are some things more educational than others? And what makes something educational anyway? Can Disney Princesses be educational? Or are some things only fun things?
The other evening I discovered my teenage daughters, Imogen and Charlotte, in the family room deep in conversation. One had a white-board. The other was typing furiously on her computer.
“What are you girls doing?”
“We’re planning a new novel,” Charlotte told me. “We’ve brainstormed ideas on the whiteboard. Now Imogen is making detailed notes on the computer.”
“Who’s writing the novel?”
“We both are.”
How can two people write one novel? Apparently they are writing alternate chapters.
“We have two main characters,” said Imogen. “I’m going to write my chapters from the view point of one, and Charlotte the other.”
“What’s the novel going to be about?”
“It’s going to be a fairy tale, an old tale rewritten.”
And then I understood. We’d all been to see the latest Disney movie Frozen only a couple of days before… a rewritten fairy tale.
“We might make our fairy tale a modern day story.”
I remembered Regina Doman’s stories. These are all rewritten modern fairy tales for teens and young adults. When I told the girls about these books, they sounded interested, so I’m going to buy one.
“We might rewrite Sleeping Beauty,” said Charlotte.
“Another time you could choose a more obscure fairy tale to rewrite,” I suggested. We then talked about The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. It’s based on the lesser known Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Maid Maleen.
Charlotte remembered a Grimms Fairy Tale book we have on our shelf. That would contain loads of novel ideas. (There is a free e-version of this book.)
Then we started talking about how Shakespeare used other people’s stories for his plays. We’ve got a book called Shakespeare’s Story Book which contains 7 tales that inspired Shakespeare.
“I’m going to draw the characters of our novel,” added Charlotte. “This will help us visualise them while we’re writing.”
It all sounded good to me. So for the past week or more the older girls have been planning and writing and drawing. Their fairy tale is coming alive.
Yesterday Charlotte wrote a post for our Mother, Daughters, Sisters blog called In My Disney Place. It’s about how she and Imogen are writing their novel. She posted pictures of the two main characters.
I read the post: “… It’s full of magic, has a couple of curses and a dragon…” and then said, “I thought you were writing a modern fairy tale.”
“We changed our minds!”
So the girls went to see an animated movie. Now they are writing a novel. They’ve discussed other novels and plays, authors and playwrights along the way. Charlotte has been drawing and has written a blog post. Would you call that educational? Do you think they are learning? Or perhaps they’re just having fun.
“What are you doing girls? Are you doing something educational? Or are you just having fun?”
“Everything’s educational, Mum!”
Even Disney princesses.
“And we’re also having fun.”
I go into Sophie’s and Gemma-Rose’s room to say goodnight. They are deep in conversation. Gemma-Rose is making notes. Sophie has a white-board. “What are you two girls doing?” I ask.
“We’re writing notes for a novel.”
Let me guess. They’re doing something educational? They’re having fun?
I bet they’re writing a fairy tale too!