Archive for November 7th, 2014

Find more Poetry Friday at Random Noodling with Diane.

Find more Poetry Friday at Random Noodling with Diane.


Even purple lemurs named Violet can write.

Even purple lemurs named Violet can write.


My students make really good guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new writing activities.  This week I showed them a free writing activity I did with our state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon, at the Book Festival Wordshop last Friday.  I was not sure how this rather random exercise would work for producing a poem.

We started with a clean piece of drawing paper.  Each edge of the paper, we filled with sense words (colors, sounds, tastes, smells, and physical feelings.)  Then I asked them to draw a large circle in the middle of the paper.  When Ava gave us this exercise to do, she talked about the negative voice that often invades our minds when we are trying to write, saying terrible things like, “You are stupid,” and “Why do you think you have anything to say?”  Each student selected a bad color to use to make a shape around their negative voices.  Some students had no shapes and others had multiple ones filled with ugly words.  I think this helped those who feel intimidated by writing.

Inside the circle, I told my students to free write for 7 minutes.  Free writing is anything that comes into your mind.  Just keep the hand moving.  I even gave them ink pens to use, a treat.

Select six concrete words from your writing.  Then write a six-lined poem.  The poems were as varied as the students themselves.  I enjoyed hearing how the free writing influenced the final poem.  I think they were richer somehow.  We then created a folded book from the art paper and wrote the six lines on the six pages of the book.

Fall weather warmth

A caramel taste
an amber color
chilly nights
candle lights
a honeysuckle scent–
Fall weather warmth.

by Vannisa


I remember

I remember
sucking on an orange butterscotch,
being embarrassed about something I said
(what a thing to feel).
I remember it all happened
on Thanksgiving.

by Matthew


Night Warrior

Be a warrior.
Ride on your unicorn.
To battle the bullies,
be a sweet, kind hero.
Climb into the sunset.
You become a pink image.

by Erin

Folded book poem

Folded book poem


NCTE is around the corner.  I am getting nervous and excited.  If you plan to be there, please try to attend the Elementary Get Together to support me as I receive the 2014 Donald H. Graves Award.  I am also presenting with colleagues from the National Writing Project on Friday.


NCTE Presentation Flier


Link to my presentation at NCTE: Friday, Nov. 21st at 12:30 PM. 



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