BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Poetry Day

I’m looking forward to working with my young writers today. Our focus this morning is on poetry. We’re starting with this poem:

Legacies

BY NIKKI GIOVANNI

 

her grandmother called her from the playground

“yes, ma’am”

“i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old

woman proudly

but the little girl didn’t want

to learn how because she knew

even if she couldn’t say it that

that would mean when the old one died she would be less

dependent on her spirit so

she said

“i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”

with her lips poked out

and the old woman wiped her hands on

her apron saying “lord

these children”

and neither of them ever

said what they meant

and i guess nobody ever does

 

I love that poem, especially the end. Sniff, sniff. Then we have a picture book to share and we’ll do some blackout poetry. After that we’ll try our hand at writing poems inspired by the color names on paint chip samples and we’ll mess around with some words and phrases on magnets and popsicle sticks. It should be a blast. I can’t wait to hear what they come up with!


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Writing Inspirations

How to get young writers going? tetragono-lounge-chair-in-purple-velvet-lazur-living-zero-gravity-fullsizerender_15__-cushion-bedroom-cushions-for-sale-chaise-axel.jpg

How to get myself going?

One way to do it is to ask questions. From the painfully real (what do I want the world to remember about me?) to the absurd (what does purple feel like?) questions can trigger words.

Tomorrow I plan to give my young writers a list of questions to trigger their writing. They can answer all of them in a poem, or they can choose one of them to explore further, or they can design their own response. I don’t really care what they write, just that they do.

I need to take that same approach with myself. In so many ways. I need to say, “self, I don’t care what you write, as long as you write something.” Or, “self, I don’t care what kind of exercise you get, as long as you move.”

The problem is, I don’t do a very good a job of listening to myself. Fortunately, the kids listen to me better than that. They’ll read the questions and give them some thought. Then they’ll write. I think I’ll join them. After all, writing something is better than writing nothing. Now I’m off to ponder the feel of purple. I’m pretty sure it’s warm and soft, with a definite velvet feel to it. The feel of luxury. Now, on to other questions of the universe.


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The Best Part of Me

I’m a teacher and I use Pinterest. There, I said it. I feel like maybe there’s a 12 step program somewhere in my future, because there are times when I spend hours on that site, mostly pinning teaching ideas. It’s not that I don’t have any of my own, it’s just that there are so many good ones out there to borrow!

One that I found and liked was a writing activity that asks kids to think deeply about the best “part” of themselves. They literally write about a body part, but I wanted my young writers to go beyond the surface.

To me it’s not enough to say, “I like my eyes. They allow me to see and they’re a pretty color.” Maybe for a young child that would be fine, but these kids are eight to thirteen years old, and so bright. They are capable of so much more.

I asked them to think about why they chose that particular part. What does it do for them? How does it make them feel? Does it affect their relationships with others? Does it matter what others think about it? I wanted them to really reflect.

Then I invited each student over for a photo of their selected part, to go along with the writing. Above are a few of the parts they chose. Their reasons are wonderful.

Have you ever thought about your best part? What is it, and why?