Archive for March 1st, 2018

Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

Poetry Friday round-up is with Renee at No Water River.

For a few days last week, most of my students attended the state Beta convention, so I had fewer students.  I seized the moment to do something out of the ordinary.

One of my gifted teacher colleagues told me about the website Animal in You.  This site has an online quiz that determines what animal you are most like.

Each student took the quiz.  Then they wrote a blog post about their spirit animal.  We also made masks on round cardboard discs.  I had no idea how popular this activity would be.  The news spread to the Beta kids, and they have been taking the quiz on their own time.  It’s become a “thing.”  I put the writing prompt into our padlet for Slice of Life challenge ideas.

This activity led to poetry.  Here are a few student poems that emerged.

flying high,
touching the ocean blue sky
with their soft silk feathers.

Bird of Prey,
you are majestic but carnivorous,
helping us keep balance.

feathers soft as silk,
soar high and long
like love in my heart.

–Dawson, 4th grade

A note about Dawson’s writing: He wrote this on a scratch sheet of paper with words going all across the page, no form.  Previously, Dawson’s poems have been silly and rhyming with little sense of poetic language.  I held my tongue, knowing that more exposure would lead him, that I did not have to tell him about writing poems.  I had to show him.  The poetic format was done by me to show him his poem.

Fierce and Strong
Protector of his home.
Fast like the wind
Soaring on land
With their butt feathers in the air.
“Predators over there!”

–Trace, 5th grade

My youngest writer, Chloe wrote about life as a lion.

If I was a lion I would like to play and jump.

If I was a lion I would have a big circle of friends

If I was a lion I would like to play in the tall grassy fields.

If I was a lion I would like to play fetch with my friends.

If I was a lion I would like to slurp the water.

If I was a lion I would sleep all day.

If I was a lion I would eat a lot of gazelles.

Wouldn’t it be fun to be a lion?  What animal would you like to be?

–Chloe, 2nd grade

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

For more Spiritual Thursday posts, click over to Irene’s Live your Poem

Welcome to the first of 31 daily posts for the March Slice of Life Challenge.  This is my 7th year to do this challenge, and every year I think I won’t make it through.  Somehow I do.

Writing daily is a discipline I try to keep, but when met with a daily publishing deadline, it becomes more important somehow.  Someone is waiting to hear from me.  Someone is listening.  Someone cares what I have to say.

Today is also the first Thursday of the month when a group of us who met through blogging come together to write about our spiritual journeys around a theme.  This month Karen Eastland is hosting at Irene Latham’s blog.  Her chosen theme is music.

Music is an integral part of my spiritual life.  I’ve been in church choirs ever since I was a teenager.  To me, singing a hymn is praying, loving, praising.

This poem is a golden shovel.  The line of poetry that forms the right margin is from Irene Latham’s poem Music Teacher that is included in Lee Bennett Hopkins collection School People. 

When I sing in the loft, the music fills my soul.  I am transported and transformed.  Last Sunday, I was given the opportunity to chant the Psalm.  The chanting music is notated with a line of music at the top of the page.  Each line of the psalm has symbols for changing intonation and moving notes.  It’s complicated.  I can’t read the music and the words at the same time and the notation is a blur.  So I just have to feel it.  I sing whatever comes out.  I have no practice or education in Anglican chant, but I’m willing to breathe in and let God take over my voice.  True consecration of my lips.

Sample of Anglican Chant music


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