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Posts Tagged ‘Ethical ELA’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Poetry Friday round-up is Michelle Kogan.
Click over to join the round up and to read poems from The Best of Today’s Little Ditty, including one of mine.

Ethical ELA posts a 5 day Poetry Challenge each month. (Next month, there will be a prompt every day for National Poetry Month.) This month I participated in only two days, but I shared one of the activities with my students this week on our Kidblog site.

Click here to see the full prompt from Jennifer Goyer-Jowett.

Her prompt included finding a Japanese character to write a haiku from. I chose river. (There isn’t one for bayou.)

Kawa

In the process of finding this character, I discovered the Japanese word Kawaakari which means the gleam of last light on a river’s surface at dusk.

Last light of first day
glows like any other, yet
gleam lingers longer.

Margaret Simon, draft

Knowing my student Madison would jump on this prompt (she loves all things Japanese), I posted the prompt to my class Kidblog site. I’m sharing their wonderful responses.

Ember’s graceful flight,

Sparks fly, blizzards and tornadoes

of dire fire.

Madison, 6th grade
Image result for water japanese
Mizu means water

Maddox, 5th grade, wrote “The Japanese character I chose is mizu which stands for water. It represents the fluid flowing and the formless things in the world.”

fluid flowing streams

flowing in the wild forest

complete harmony

Maddox, 5th grade
Image result for japanese word character for tree
A.J., 6th grade, chose tree.
image

Standing tall and firm,

Strong arms supporting small twigs,

Uneven Fractal.

A. J., 6th grade

Breighlynn, 4th grade wrote, “My Japanese character is Kaze. Kaze is for wind. It represents Freedom of movement.”

Freedom of Movement

Going here and going there

I love to travel

Breighlynn, 4th grade

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

A painted sign in my daughter’s neighborhood. We had to take a picture, but Leo, having been released from the stroller, wanted to get down and walk.

I’ve been participating in Ethical ELA’s monthly 5 day writing challenge. I love this community of friends. On Sunday, the mentor text was a poem “What I Want Is” by C. G. Hanzlicek. The prompt is here.

On Friday night and Saturday morning, we had Leo who is now 14 months and loves to walk. I took him outside in our backyard and next door to swing. My neighbor has 2 grandsons, too, so she has set up baby swings hanging from a tree. I really could not imagine anywhere else I’d rather be. So the prompt led me to this poem.

What I want is
what I have

when I’m with him
walking hand around finger

down the hill
to the bayou

to wave at the canoers
even though they don’t

see us swinging
from a rope

in the oak tree
laughing just because

there are wildflowers
too many to count

and a cool breeze
to catch our smiles on

a day of only us
pointing at birds

flying overhead
Bird 1 Bird 2

Margaret Simon after C.G. Hanzlicek

On Monday I combined the Ethical ELA prompt to write a This is Just to Say apology poem with the image posted in Laura Shovan’s February poetry project.

photo by Jone MacCulloch.

This is Just to Say

I missed the turn
to school today.
My eyes were on
the clouds

So soft and floating
like giant snowdrifts
above me in bouquets
of white roses.

Forgive me,
I’m late
my head in the clouds
dancing around in their fluff.

Margaret Simon, draft, after William Carlos Williams

Finding daily prompts in my email inbox help me to pick up the pen and notebook and make something. Creativity feeds my soul. The positive loving feedback is fun, too.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Kathryn down under at her website.

When I started #100DaysofNotebooking with my students, I couldn’t imagine that we would be reading and writing poetry every day. But poetry is where my radar goes, and a good poetry prompt for me is also good for my kiddos.

Thanks to Ethical ELA, I had many ways to lead my students into writing this week. The prompts are still up on the website, and I highly recommend them. Writing together day by day helps me and my students to be vulnerable together. From this prompt, we wrote poems about loved ones who have passed away. My students touched me with their honesty. They had to bear with me choking up when I shared this poem about my dear friend Amy:

Amy Who
inspired by Abuelito Who by Sandra Cisneros

Amy who looked like Sandra Bullock
but better, whose smile glowed a mile away,
who wore a crown with grace
when she threw beads to the crowd,
whom you may call a social butterfly,
but her conversations were real; she didn’t stray
from the tough stuff, and laughed aloud
at funny happenstance,
who held my grandbaby the last time I saw her,
tears in her eyes
as she said, “I will never have this.”
Who faced cancer with wisdom,
never giving up
while knowing all the while
her body was,
who left us all missing her,
whose joy lives on,
and her smile.

Margaret Simon, draft 2020
This photo of Amy from the first Berry Queen Ball in 2008 stays on my my refrigerator.

A prompt from Teach this Poem led me to a video of “Imagine” by John Lennon. Sadly, most of my students didn’t even know who he was, much less the song. But this freshness caused them to be open and creative in their writing.

The world
breaking into countries
some people can only imagine
while others can do something.
We would want our world
to be like clouds in the sky
staying together
to make a huge crowd
shouting and singing.
They contain heaven
where everyone lives in peace
not separating their clouds.
We don’t want our world to
turn into nothing

Jaden, 4th grade
Photo from PIxabay

No reason,
to kill or
die for.
Imagine,
I might be called a dreamer,
but there are others
who think the same.
I hope some day…
you’ll join us,
a brotherhood of man…
No need
for greed or
hunger.
Imagine us
all living and loving,

                      -together

Daniel, 5th grade

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