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Posts Tagged ‘definito’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Jone.

Did you know that Wednesday, Jan. 29th was National Curmudgeons Day in honor of W.C. Fields’ birthday? I didn’t either until I got an email from Jen Laffin’s blog Teach Write. Jen listed some great writing prompts to use with your students.

My students loved this. I loved giving them a word they didn’t already know, which is a challenge when teaching gifted kids. In their notebooks, they wrote poems and character sketches as well as drew pictures of Grumpy Cat, Oscar the Grouch, and the two old men from the Muppets.

I reminded them of the poem form, definito, which was created by my friend and fellow poetry swagger, Heidi Mordhorst. A definito is a poem of 8-12 lines that defines a word and ends with the defined word.

I worked on this poem playing with a rhyme scheme. Writing this poem cheered me up, out of curmudgeonliness.

National Curmudgeons Day Definito

When your day starts out in slush and mud,
When nothing seems quite right,
When your cat scratches drawing blood,
When you’ve already lost the fight,
When all you want to do is rest
or hide, just slam the door,
You can’t suppress your grumpiness;
Your mom says you’re a boar.
Your face turns green and grouchy,
shoulders glum and slouchy.
It may be better to stay in
as you are a curmudgeon.

Margaret Simon, 2020
My notebook page for National Curmudgeons Day.

Angry Growler,
loudest shouter.

A faultfinder,
spirit grinder.

Always shut in,
a curmudgeon.

A.J., 6th grade
Breighlynn’s notebook page.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

Today my Sunday Poetry Swagger writing group is celebrating a new form invented by our colleague Heidi Mordhorst, who is hosting the PF link up.

Heidi’s definition of a definito is “a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.” A few weeks ago during one of our Sunday night critique meetings, she asked us each to try writing our own definito.

I’ve been following Teach Write on Facebook and each day they post a word to jump start writing. In the month of July, they posted “voracious vocabulary”. One day the word was “zephyr.” This was a new to me word that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about. A definito is a great way to explore a word’s meaning through writing. I will be using this activity with my students this year.

Zephyr

Zero in.
Feel the wind
blow oh, so, slow,
lightly feathering
the sleepy moss,
slightly rippling the shore.
Not a gale or hefty gust,
blustery bora or frigid buster.
This Greek god is a gentle one
waving from the western sky…
easy-breezy  zephyr.
(draft) Margaret Simon

Melanie Wupperman, Pexels.com

Read more definitos at these Poetry Swaggers’ sites:
Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise

And playing along:
Mary Lee Hahn: A Year of Reading
Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Children

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