Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fourth Graders in Camden, NJ

Today I talked with fourth graders in Camden, NJ over video conferencing. We collaborated on the beginning of a story about a human getting superhuman powers (including a full list of what fourth graders tihnk are superpowers):

Superhuman powers: tipping over cars, invisibility, run at sonic speed, making people’s nightmares come true, break through stuff with your head, shoot electricity off your head, flying, laser vision

Main character: Dragonboy

Setting: Japan

Dragonboy lives with his parents and little sister in Tokyo, Japan. He always wanted superpowers, because he felt very limited by the basic human powers he had. No, Dragonboy was not content with opposable thumbs and running legs. He wanted laser vision and invisibility.

One day, he went shopping with the rest of the family and saw a fountain. He had a penny in his hand that he had just picked up off the ground and he thought, “Hmmm…I might as well throw the penny in that fountain and wish for superhuman powers.” So he threw the penny in, shut his eyes tight, and wished for superpowers with all his might. His little sister walked up to him and said, “Whad’ja wish for, world peace?”

He got an ashamed look on his face and shook his head.

The next day, Dragonboy’s mom came to wake him up and tell him to go to school, as usual. He opened his eyes and looked around. As soon as he opened his eyes, his mom shrieked, jumped, and ran from the room.

“What?” Dragonboy asked, and got up and looked in the mirror. In the second he had before the mirror melted, he realized that his eyes had turned into lasers—that, or there was just a very bright, very sharp line of red light emerging from each one.

“Aaaahh!” Dragonboy shouted, a little afraid himself of his new laser vision. He ran out of the room, and realized, with a sinking feeling, that he was simply not supposed to go that fast. And he had. In less than two seconds, he had already rushed out his room, through the hall, through the kitchen, through the dining room, through the living room, and out the door. And now he was rushing past houses—skyscrapers—the downtown section—and he couldn’t stop.

That was when he saw a giant truck barreling down his way.

[Maybe the car-tipping skills will come in handy now.]


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