GIS Writers’ Workshop students share pieces inspired by visit to FDR House

The Goshen Intermediate School Writers’ Workshop is a writing enrichment program for fourth and fifth grade students that meets twice a week before school.

Students in the Workshop visited the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) House in Hyde Park, NY over the winter to engage in a place-based writing project.

To prepare for the trip, GIS Teacher Christine Kelton showed them pictures of the home and read part of “Who Was FDR?” While students were listening, they filled out partial outlines with information they learned.

“I was so impressed because when the docent asked questions, many of them knew exactly what she was talking about,” Kelton said, “and the kids were so proud of themselves.”

Once the Writers’ Workshop returned to the classroom, they practiced “object writing.” Students chose one object and wove it into a narrative non-fiction project. Options for students included working with a partner to create a readers theater piece, or working along to write a narrative non-fiction story. Each group or individual chose whichever object they wanted from pictures inside FDR’s house or the museum.

FDR Fireside Chat

By Samuel Villada Aparicio

A copy of a photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt's living room, with chairs, lamps, and an elaborate fireplace.

“Eleanor!” yelled FDR.

“Yes!” Eleanor said. She went to the kitchen. “What,” said Eleanor. FDR was frustrated because he didn’t know what to write for his fireside chat. And then Fala came into the kitchen and Elenor said, “Go, Franklin, take the dog outside and you can play with him. Maybe you will think of an idea when you’re outside.”

“Maybe you’re right, Eleanor, I need from fresh air, Fala let’s go,” said Franklin as he turned his wheelchair and moved outside. Fala followed him. FDR threw the ball and said, “Help me, Fala, I don’t know what to say in my next fireside chat.” But Fala didn’t say anything when she returned with the ball. FDR reached down to pick up the ball and a quarter fell out of his pocket.

“Great idea, Fala!” He shouted. “I will talk about the money problems in America!”

Drawing by GIS student Samuel Villada Aparicio.

Fireside Chat

By Alexa Alvarez

A copy of a photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt's living room, with chairs, lamps, and an elaborate fireplace.

Scene: Eleanor and Franklin are talking after he gave a fireside chat.

“Thank you and have a good night,” FDR said. He is relaxed in his chair.

“You did a great job,” said Eleanor. “You explained the bank problem.” The reporters were cleaning the microphones and they were putting them in the boxes. FDR was hungry and his tummy grumbled.

Eleanor said, “What was that?”

FDR answered, “It was my tummy grumbling because I am hungry.”

“Let’s go to the kitchen,” she said as she pushed him out the door.

“What’s for dinner?” FDR asked.

“Your favorite hot dogs!” answered Eleanor.

Fala and FDR!

By Valentina Trujano

Scene: Fala and FDR playing outside. FDR is talking about what to say for his fireside chat.

Fala gave an excited bark as the Frisbee whizzed through the wind.

“Go get it!” shouted FDR with a huge grin. The little black dog sprinted across the lawn like a rocket.

“Nice boy!” screamed Franklin.

The little dog ran fast back to Franklin. Then FDR and Fala went to take a walk before Franklin had his fireside chat.

Fala barked and wanted to play more with the Frisbee.

“Sorry Fala, we can’t play anymore,” said FDR. “I only have twenty more minutes left,” said FDR with a soft voice. “I think I need to talk to you about the banks. Everyone is taking the money and I don’t know what to do.”

FDR and Fala came back from the walk. Then Franklin got ready for his fireside chat.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen” said FDR with a lovely voice.

Drawing by GIS student Valentina Trujano.

FDR Fireside Chat Writing Project

By Garner Bennett

The scene: FDR just finished his fireside chat, but things come crashing down for him and Fala.

Franklin watched as the reporters left the room slamming the door behind them, leaving Franklin all alone with Fala. Just then, a picture of Fala fell off the wall, crashing onto the floor and shattering into what seemed like one million pieces.

This startled Fala and Franklin, so Fala started running all over the room in an absolute panic everywhere. Eleanor heard all of this from the room over, so she went to check what was going on.

“What’s going on?” said Eleanor looking from shard to shard. “Franklin, how did this happen? Was there a bird or the wind, or something else?”

“It was those dang reporters, they startled Fala by knocking the picture off the wall!”

“On purpose?” said Eleanor.

“I wouldn’t think so,” said Franklin wheeling over to Eleanor.

“Let me clean this mess up,” said Eleanor. They cleaned up the mess and discussed what the next fireside chat would be.

“The next fireside chat will be about the Great Depression. All the people are worried about their money and their jobs,” said Franklin.

They played with Fala and Chief until the sun set and they all slept peacefully.

Drawing by GIS student Garner Bennett.

*NOTE: These submissions have been edited for grammar.