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 here. There 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.|