Posts Tagged ‘Denise Krebs’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Every class we begin with notebook time. My students know to open their notebooks as soon as they walk in. I’ve started teaching some little ones, second graders, and it’s not so well established yet with them, but we’re trying. One thing that Brayden knows already is that on Mondays we write a Slice of Life. But first, we played Mad Lib Poetry, created by Taylor Mali, that I read about on this Poetry Friday post from Denise Krebs.

Brayden answered the prompt, “Name an object that represents your mother” with “butterflies.” This stayed with him, and he wrote his Slice of Life about his mother. “My mother is a butterfly. She is beautiful.”

With my different groups of students, I wrote the Mad Lib Poem 3 times. Here is one of my versions:

I was born in the year of Donny Osmond albums.

My mother was a grand piano
and my father, a pointillist drawing.

Is it any wonder that I grew up to be an amazing cross
between Alice in Wonderland and a great blue heron?

Take a worried look at me. I am weary and feeling old.

Is it any wonder that I still have nightmares
about teaching a whole class
of second grade boys?

Margaret Simon, Mad Lib Slam Poem form by Taylor Mali

Denise shared that Taylor’s Metaphor Dice are on sale for teachers at 60% off. Grab them while you can.

On Friday with my 6th grade writers, we played three rounds of metaphor dice. This is a great game for this grade level. They grapple with the strange combinations and amaze themselves and me by what they write in 2 minutes. I think this is a great activity for critical and creative thinking.

I liked how this next poem came out as a little love poem.

My heart is a burning kiss,
burning like the fire inside
that makes bread rise,
the heat that helps babies grow,
the warmth that feeds the seed
which is to say
your tender kiss
melts my heart
into pure gold
that withstands
the test of time.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Irene at Live Your Poem.

This week I started following Denise Krebs’ blog, Dare to Care. We met each other virtually through blogging. She introduced me to a poetry form called 4×4. Here are the rules copied from her post:

  • 4 syllables in each line
  • 4 lines in each stanza
  • 4 stanzas
  • 4 times repeating a refrain line–line 1 in the first stanza, line 2 in the second stanza, line 3 in the third stanza, and line 4 in the fourth stanza.
  • Bonus: 4 syllables in the title
  • No restrictions on subject, rhyme, or meter.

It’s a fun form to play with. I’ve combined it with using quotes or a stolen line as the repeated line. I have to admit this form has been tough for students to use. While teaching it to kids, I’ve written a few poem drafts this week. Here are two that I don’t hate.

Awareness is
everything we
need to know to
stand for something.

Don’t fall for it.
Awareness is
looking deeply
into your soul.

Answers will come
to questions asked.
Awareness is
waiting for you.

No choice ever
is possible
until you know
awareness is.

Margaret Simon, draft

Hang on to love.
Find someone who
cares for you most,
holds you in trust.

Trust can be hard.
Hang on to love
anyway, ’cause
you matter, too.

When hearts are turned
to the sad news,
hang on to love
to get you through.

Not all sparkles
or shiny smiles,
for steady hands
hang on to love.

Margaret Simon, draft

Last summer I wrote with the National Writing Project during a virtual writing marathon. My poem, Muses, is published in their online journal here.

Chloe wrote a 4×4 poem and read it on a Flipgrid video:


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