My Review of Meeting Elizabeth

This week, I thought it would be interesting to review a student story. I chose Katie’s story, “Meeting Elizabeth” because of her theme. As I have been exploring my future, the potential of adding another child to our family has been an intense conversation. My husband and I have a wonderful 3-year-old son. We had always envisioned having two children, but I’ve been very hesitant (more resistant) to actually moving forward with that plan. Ever since our son was born, I have felt very complete as a family. I’ve been struggling with the pros and cons of stopping after one and having the dreaded only child syndrome.

Katie’s story is focused on the addition of another child, from the sibling’s perspective. My son is too young to truly be able to share with us his feelings about adding a brother or sister to the family – or not – so it was compelling to review Katie’s thinking. I appreciate that she starts off her story by sharing her experience traveling to China and how she enjoyed the spotlight of being an American child there. Katie also shares some insight into the experiences her family provided her and her new sister in order to bond. The first meeting may not have been so great, but having the opportunity to enjoy fun places like the zoo, allowed Katie to focus on the fun part of having a new sibling. Katie shares that it didn’t take her long to connect with her sister and know that they would be close forever.

The photographs that Katie chose for her visuals were supportive of the listener understanding the connection that the sisters hold. The music was a nice touch to honor her sister’s birth place. One piece that I felt was lacking was the focus on the meeting. Katie shared some details about the earlier days, but then quickly jumped ahead to general events and activities that they have done since. I was hoping for more details to share what her first couple of days or weeks were like in building their new family.

Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? For a young student, I believe this was a great example of creativity. She used personal photographs, appropriate music, and shared a story that was personally meaningful.
Economy Was the information presented through the story sifted, prioritized and told without bird walking or detours, as described in Part III? Katie stayed focused on the event of meeting her sister for the majority of the story, but became over-generalized towards the end. I liked the specificity of the early parts of the story and would have liked to see the end be just as focused.
Flow, organization and pacing Was the story well organized? Did it flow well, moving from part to part without bumps or disorientation, as described in Part III? The pacing was successful. Katie’s fluency was appropriate for the story and was well timed.

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