When I was in the first grade, we used to have to write sentences with our vocabulary words once per week. It was March, and the word list included some of the following: leprechaun, rainbow, earthquake, and midnight. When I saw the words, I didn’t just see sentences. I saw a story. So rather than do a homework that would have taken me ten minutes, I wrote a sixteen page story about a leprechaun who follows the rainbow backwards in search of the person who needs his gold. It was called The Quest for Gold, Part 1 because the adventure had only just begun.
Homework was graded on a three-point scale from ✔- to ✔ to ✔+. My sixteen pages only got a ✔, and I realized I wouldn’t ever be happy until I wrote a story worthy of a ✔+.