Posts Tagged ‘mentor text’

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

We are in our second full week of school, so it’s time to start slicing. I am pleased with the daily routine I’ve started this year with my students. Today, they came in and found their notebooks, opened them up to a clean page, dated it, and waited. Ah, yes. Routine of writing every day is taking hold.

This morning after our quick write, Jaden pointed to Katie’s filled page and said, “She told me she didn’t want to write this morning.” The magic of Linda Rief’s The Quick Write Handbook. Together we have done the first two quick writes in the book, Rambling Autobiography and On Being Asked to Select the Most Memorable Day in My Life. These were great set ups for writing a Slice of Life post on our class blog. (Kidblog has morphed into Fan School and we are not happy.)

I write alongside my students. For the rambling autobiography, Linda Rief suggests using three phrases on their blank page, at the top, middle, and bottom, and write to them. (I was born…, I lied to…, and A friend once told me…)

Rambling Autobiography

I was born under the Perseids meteor showers in a Mississippi torn by racial riots. When I was six, “camping out” in our front yard, we set it on fire, an accident that left me with a fear of fire and deep shame. Our house had the largest oak tree on the whole block. I’ve always imagined my grandmother as my guardian angel. I carry her name with me every day. I lied to my mother about the fire. A friend once told me to trust my gut. I could create a timeline of my life with parentheses of hurricanes.  I secretly like to listen to choral music and sing along the alto part. I once danced with Marilyn Singer’s husband. I’ve won an award for teaching writing but not for writing. 

Margaret Simon, notebook quick write 8/19/21

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

This being the first Friday of the month, our Sunday night writing group is up to a new challenge, this time from Heidi. Tabatha Yeatts recently posted a poem by Gail Martin. “What Pain Doesn’t Know about Me” makes a great mentor text for writing about nearly anything. Molly used the prompt to cleverly write about frogs!

Heidi added to the challenge to throw in anthimeria. Go ahead and click the link. I didn’t know what it was either, but I’ve likely used the technique before. Anthimeria is converting a noun into a verb, or a verb into a noun and so forth. I had already drafted a poem when I saw this added bonus, so I edited for the effect.

What Grief Doesn’t Know About Me

after Gail Martin

How I go to bed early and rise before the sun.

My duck-feet. How my surface-body is still while I paddle fiercely.

I can count syllables while walking. I lullaby babies.

He’s not taken my singing,

My generations in the South,

My ability to swim in the deep. Tread water indefinitely.

We don’t talk every day.  We have coffee together on Mondays.

Now, as I watch my cat bat at a black pen on the kitchen table,
I know not to put my hand in the mix. 

If you ask me how my day is going, I might cry.

Margaret Simon, draft

To read how others in our group met the challenge:

Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone

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