Monday, February 8, 2016

Love On Valentine's Day



      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today, and it's always good to read what everyone shares.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb. 

          I am rather immersed in words lately. I won't say drowning, but I've been in the pool a lot. I write my own blog posts, letters, and since February 1st, a poem every day for Laura Shovan's annual February birthday challenge. We've been inspired by postcards, Pantone colors and sounds. This year people contributed photos of "found" objects.  If you'd like to join us, the information is hereThere are a few other monthly challenges that I usually write for, too.  I read books, magazines, blog posts. My thesaurus and rhyming dictionary sit by my side. And I read, books, magazines, others' writing on the web. Words are important to me, delightful and mysterious, especially in poetry.




          I know your time is tight if you are teaching, but thought I'd share one thing I've done every year in varied ways for Valentine's Day poems in my classes. I imagine one could adjust for younger students too. One year I paired my students up randomly and each pair had to write love poems to something special in the school. Another year they wrote to a staff member. You can call them odes if you wish. They are rather like love poems. If you have a chance, try it. The poems were to be typed up, decorated in some way, and presented on Valentine's Day to the person, or posted at the place where they showed their love. I think it is a nice way to focus on appreciating other for our "sweetest" day rather than eating sweets.  

         For younger kids, certainly Love That Boy by Walter Dean Myers is a natural mentor poem. Writers can copy the style, or at least see the attributes that are included.  Or the poem based from that one is in Sharon Creech's wonderful book, Love That Dog. And for older students, Gary Soto's Ode To Pablo's Tennis Shoes is delightful. It is personal, but through examination, you can find ways to see how the writer shows the love by writing those specific details.  If you have other ideas for mentor poems, please share!


  Happy Valentine's Day!

An old Valentine I've saved.

31 comments:

  1. My students have recently loved writing poems inspired by "Love That Boy" and "Love That Dog". Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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    1. I thought that many of you would know these poems. They are wonderful, and I love hearing that you've done this.

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  2. I LOVE this idea. I'm going to have my GT students do odes to places in the school. Then we can frame them and put them in the appropriate places.

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    1. Terrific, Kimberley. Hope it's lots of fun!

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  3. These are great ideas, Linda! Thank you. I love the idea of turning the focus towards others. I wonder what places in school my students would made the subject of their poetry. I'm guessing the gym would probably appear in a few poems. :)

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    1. I wish I had examples for you Jennifer. I know that some did write about the gym, but remember one posted at a water fountain! There are many places to love!

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  4. I love this idea so much!!! Valentine for Ernest Mann, by Naomi Shahib Nye, is another poem that pops into my head! I am absolutely doing this with my students. THANK YOU!!!!

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  5. Another poem: Ode To My Socks - Poem by Pablo Neruda.

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    1. Yes, I know Valentine for Ernest Mann, so wonderful, and the Neruda poems are great, too. Thanks so much for the reminder, Michelle.

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  6. You may feel like you are drowning in words, but I think you are splashing about and making merry with the words and ideas. Keep writing!

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    1. Thanks, Elsie, I know that I will, but this extra challenge has me hopping!

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  7. I am definitely trying this. Loving places and moments is a good idea. Thanks for the fun idea Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. I hope if people do this that they will share, too. I'd love to see what happens!

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  8. Love this post,
    like a kid needs to play
    I said I love this post,
    like a kid needs to play
    Love to read them the morning
    love to comment
    'Hey there, Linda... thanks for the idea! I'm also thinking about
    "This is Just to Say"

    I

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    1. You're welcome, friend, and I know where it might end, with a poem in your heart, for that's where love will start. Ha! What a smile this morning! Thanks, Julieanne!

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  9. My students would complain about writing poetry until we started. Then they get into it and ask for more.

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    1. I hear you! They carry too much baggage sometimes. I love that you kept on.

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  10. A truly lovely idea. I think I might borrow it! So happy you are so often in the pool and sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie, it would be a challenge to stop.

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  11. What a lovely idea, Linda - and we even have this book! Hope your having a great day.

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    1. It's getting warm again, so the snow will go away fast I think. Yes, a good day. Thanks, Tara, hope your day is good, too.

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  12. We are off for the Mardi Gras holiday, so I haven't realized how close we are to Valentine's Day. We may have to do after-V-day poems. Great ideas.

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    1. Oh,have a marvelous time, Margaret. It's the Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Valentine's Day all smooshed together-good fun.

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  13. Ah, yes! This activity sounds absolutely lovely. I love Love That Dog and just read it with my pre-service K-6 teachers! It would be wonderful to use as a mentor text. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Ricki. Fun that you came by.

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  14. Lovely ideas. Sounds like you are very busy with words. Wonderful way to pass February!

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    1. Thanks Beverley, yes, I am very busy, but liking the doing. Hope you are well, too.

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  15. You amaze me with your splashing around in the pool! I'm always impressed by the challenges you take on. I love words too!

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    1. Thanks, I know you do, Ramona, and you keep very busy too, right?

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  16. I love this idea, Linda! (And Julieanne's poem in reply.) My brain is also filled to overflowing with words lately. Laura's Found Object photos are wonderful and compelling. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I'm glad that you are doing the challenge with Laura. It is wonderful to do. And I agree, Julieanne's poem is terrific.

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