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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Her Face: A Photo-inspired Poem

Inspiration for this poem came from http://www.ethicalela.com/8-verselove-2019-with-travis-crowder/ for #verselove2019. Instructions were to:
  • "choose an image–a photograph, an image from history, a gorgeous landscape–and let your thinking land on the page. Let the words pool and then, once the collection grows, start arranging them. Let the poem sit for a moment, then return to it. You’ll be amazed at the thinking you want to add."
Following the link to the New York Times Year in Photos for 2018, I found several photos that inspired writing. Here is the result of one of those photographs:




I Hear You: A Photo-inspired Poem

Inspiration for this poem came from http://www.ethicalela.com/8-verselove-2019-with-travis-crowder/ for #verselove2019. Instructions were to:
  • "choose an image–a photograph, an image from history, a gorgeous landscape–and let your thinking land on the page. Let the words pool and then, once the collection grows, start arranging them. Let the poem sit for a moment, then return to it. You’ll be amazed at the thinking you want to add."
Following the link to the New York Times Year in Photos for 2018, I found several photos that inspired writing. Here is the result of one of those photographs:


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Nirvana

#Verselove2019 (Day 11) asks about the places that give us "the feels." I definitely have a favorite place, but I have written a prose piece about it previously - one I share with my students. 

I decided to take that prose piece and clip lines from it in order to cosntruct a poem. I actually found this really rewarding, as it prompted me to think about which lines are truly important and which aspects of the experience are worthy of repeating as I transformed the message into a new genre. 

I also refrained from using any punctuation at all - quite a feat for me! I do enjoy a good punctuation mark ;) 






Wednesday, April 10, 2019

These Books

I didn't get past the first line of the day 7 #verselove2019 challenge: 

What books nudged you as a reader? 

I did trace my hand on the page of my journal (boy, are some of my fingers crooked!), and I began filling it with the books my mom read to me, the ones I read during the year that influenced me the most (4th grade), and the books I read during adolescence. I listed such an absurd variety of texts, but I am so glad that those books allowed me to explore the world. The greatest gift my mom gave to me (other than my life, of course) is a love of reading. 

For more poetry inspiration, check out http://www.ethicalela.com/7-verselove2019-with-travis-crowder/




The Best Part of Me

The second #Verselove2019 inspiration/prompt called on writers to capture the best part of themselves. Boy, did I struggle with this one! I'm not very good at tooting my own horn, so to speak, but I'm working on that. 

I am sure of one strength - one that helps me connect with and care about my students: empathy. See this site for more poetry-writing ideas: http://www.ethicalela.com/two-verselove2019/ 


Sounds Like Home

Happy Poetry Month! I will do my best to write a poem each day this April; however, it will be difficult. I am already behind, but I will write 2-3 poems on days I can, and hey - any amount of writing is always better than none. I am writing this during reading (SSR) time in class, so please keep in mind that this is a quickly-scrawled draft. This is no masterpiece, but it means something to me today, in this moment. 

Please look for inspiration here: http://www.ethicalela.com/one-verselove2019/ #verselove

Instructions were to write about something good. I noticed, as I started drafting, that I had a lot of sound imagery, starting with my original first line "It might sound trite..." (which I crossed out), so I stuck with sounds. I might complete a series with other sensory imagery as well. The #verselove blog also suggested playing with dashes and repetition. I ended up with only one dash and a sprinkle of repetition. Thanks to all my family and friends for your sounds of laughter and love - I thought of many more people and examples than I had time to write about today.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanksgiving & Writing Holiday Poetry

As teachers, we must always remember not to assume anything about our students' vacations. Their experiences will vary greatly depending on religion, income, traditions, family structure, and at the high school level, many of our students work during weekends and holiday events like "Black Friday." If we ask them to use a holiday as inspiration for writing, it is important to think about how we word those prompts. We must make it safe not to have the common or "traditional" experience. With a holiday as controversial as Thanksgiving, we must make it safe for students to express a variety of feelings about the holiday itself, issues with family dynamics or lost loved ones, and other age-related topics ranging from sitting at the kids' table to worrying about the last round of college applications. Of course, in true workshop method, the best way to model sharing in a safe atmosphere is to write with your kids. This year, I decided to focus on how I felt about Thanksgiving at different points in my life. I would adapt this a bit for a student writing prompt, or - better yet - I would ask them for ideas.

Here's my poem inspired by Thanksgiving: