Write about Us

Midsummer Student Painting - Post Image - Mina's Letters

Each year, my sixth grade students blog.  We start out talking about the history of blogging, terminology, and features of blogs.  Then we move on to viewing several blogs.  I show them a sports blog (whatever seems current) and a food blog (Smitten Kitchen) to appeal to all my learners.  My favorite one to share is a knitting blog out of Canada (Knitted Bliss).  Inevitably, I let it slip that I have a blog.  Chaos ensues, and I have to reign them in as they want to see it.  For the past couple of years this has been tough.  Show them a blog that hasn’t been used but is my baby?!  No.  This year, I gave some lame attempt at explaining I haven’t written much, Mom passed away, life got busy, needing inspiration, blah, blah, blah.

“Write about Us.”  Just like that they solved the problem.  I laughed out loud.  Teaching allows me to laugh freely, and my students frequently say wise, witty, and hilarious things that only sixth graders can say.  Then I thought about it…. currently in writer’s waste land, where to start when you have been gone two and a half years without writing, how to explain the loss of your mom who was and is your biggest hero, what to say that doesn’t sound like a pathetic attempt to recap so many months…. writing about students seemed like a fabulous way back.

Sixth Grade Class of 2016 this is for you and a thank you.  You are amazing.  All year, we have tried things, and your response has been YES!  The woodland backdrop you painted for our reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favorite part of this year.  Your intangible gifts are more valuable; however, the backdrop here is symbolic of what you can do and who you are as a class.

Given the idea of a forest scene, you made it yours.  From photo to detailed painting, you took control.  No worries about the acrylic paint on hiking boots and shorts, you drove right in.  You tackled the project like any good writer approaching a writing piece.  We had a plan, we worked the steps, and we revised for a final product.  Each of you shared your best talents.  No one needed to be the star.  One person’s ideas fed into another’s for an even better result, making everyone excited at each step along the way.  When it was all done you turned to me and said, “Ms Heidel, I think ours is better than the original picture.”

Your work and writing will always be better.  It is the original! Thank you for being my inspiration and motivation.  Welcome to Mina’s Letters.


  1. aw, so inspiring! They did a great job on the background, and for sparking some new writing in you!