Fun List Mondays

What Are Three Reasons You Like Learning (And One Reason You Don’t)?

Fun List Monday, August 27

I love the sense of freedom I get after learning something new. After learning to ride a bike, suddenly I could ride to school and to my grandmother’s house. Learning academically has been the same way for me. Suddenly I’m excited about books and articles that didn’t make sense before! How about you? What do you like about learning?

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Write a list with me! Every Monday I will post a fun list. Fill out your list and enjoy it by yourself, share it on my Facebook page, in the comments or on Twitter (with the hashtag #FunListMondays). Not convinced? Read about how lists encourage better writing here.

Like this activity? See other Fun List Mondays here.

Freewrite Wednesday

Freewrite Wednesday: President or Dessert?

Ready to free your writing? Let’s do a freewrite together!

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Would you rather be the president of The United States of America (and choose your cabinet) but never eat dessert, or not be the president and eat as much dessert as you want?

Help to get you started:
Why did you make your choice? If you chose to be president, what would you do with your new position? How would life change for you? If you chose dessert, why did you choose to not be president?  Which desserts would you eat?

Set your timer for 10 minutes and write, write, write!
Have an especially meaningful freewrite? Share it in the comments or on my Facebook page.

About Freewrites: A freewrite is exactly what it sounds like: free! Use a freewrite to practice channeling thoughts from your mind to the paper. Never done a freewrite? Learn more in my Guide to Freewriting 

Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Activity: Concrete Poetry

Hello! Welcome to Poetry Tuesday: the day we dip (or dive) into the lovely world of poetry!

Interested in poetry?
Write a concrete (shape) poem in this activity for kids, adults, and everyone in-between.

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A. Introduction to Concrete Poems

Concrete poems are a special kind of poetry in which the words themselves make a shape! It’s fun, it looks neat, and most importantly, it makes the poem come alive to the reader in a unique way.

Here’s an old example of a concrete poem. It was written by George Herbert, who lived from 1593 to 1633 in Europe. If you turn it sideways, it looks like two sets of Angel Wings! 

Angel Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
      Though foolishly he lost the same,
            Decaying more and more,
                  Till he became
                        Most poore:
                        With thee
                  O let me rise
            As larks, harmoniously,
      And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne
      And still with sicknesses and shame.
            Thou didst so punish sinne,
                  That I became
                        Most thinne.
                        With thee
                  Let me combine,
            And feel thy victorie:
         For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

At the top of the page is a poem that I wrote when I was putting together this activity. It was inspired by a recent mouse incident we had in our basement!

See how it looks like a mouse? Sometimes you have to turn the paper to read all the way around a concrete poem!

B. Writing a concrete poem
Your turn!

1. Pick a simple shape. You can pick your own shape or print out one of these templates:
ball
star
butterfly (advanced)
paw print (advanced)

2. Write a poem about your shape on a separate piece of paper. Even though my poem rhymed, yours absolutely doesn’t need to. Just write words to describe your shape. 

3. Write your poem around the shape!

4. Would you like your concrete poem to be only words and no drawing marks? Here’s a mini-tutorial to help:
a. Trace your shape with a dark marker
b. Place a clean piece of white paper on top of your shape so the shape shows through
c. Write your poem on the white paper, using the shape underneath as a guide

Pleased with your poem? Snap a picture of it and share it in the comments or post it on my

Facebook page so we can all read and enjoy them!

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poem Study Eletelephony by Laura Elizabeth Richards

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Sonnets, Week 2

Fun List Mondays

What Are Four Things You Would Do If You Were the President of the United States (And One You Wouldn’t Do)?

Fun List Monday, August 20

Judging by my inability to answer questions on the spot, I’m guessing I won’t ever be the President of the United States. But who knows? Maybe you will decide to run for office one day! What 4 things would you do if you were elected?

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Write a list with me! Every Monday I will post a fun list. Fill out your list and enjoy it by yourself, share it on my Facebook page or in the comments! Not convinced that lists are awesome? Read about how lists encourage better writing here.

Like this activity? See other Fun List Mondays here.

Story Share Topic!

Story Share Topic: Follow your nose!

Ready for this week’s Story Share Topic?
Join in the fun! Write your story and send it in for a chance to have your story shared on the site!

This Week’s Story Share Topic:

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Write a story about someone who followed their nose!

Perhaps the character followed a strange smell and fell into trouble, or maybe his/her nose sniffed out an adventure! What was the smell? Why did the character want to follow it? What was at the end of the smell, if there was one? What is the problem (conflict)? How is it solved?

To share: Send your story next Friday to Fridaystoryshare@gmail.com

FAQ: If you don’t want to share your story, can you still write one? Absolutely!
Do you have to write a story on this particular topic? Nope! Writing stories is a great creative writing exercise, no matter what the topic. The topic is a prompt to get you started!

Writing with little ones? Read this post about how to include young children in writing activities.

Freewrite Wednesday

Freewrite Wednesday: Sense of Smell

Ready to free your writing? Let’s do a freewrite together!

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Imagine the whole world just lost its sense of smell. What would life be like?

Help to get you started:
How would things be different if no one could smell? What would change if animals couldn’t smell? People? What would be good about a world without smells? What would be bad? Would anything change if everyone suddenly stopped smelling?

Set your timer for 10 minutes and write, write, write!
Have an especially meaningful freewrite? Share it in the comments or on my Facebook page.

About Freewrites: A freewrite is exactly what it sounds like: free! Use a freewrite to practice channeling thoughts from your mind to the paper. Never done a freewrite? Learn more in my Guide to Freewriting 

Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Activity: Five Senses Poem

Hello! Welcome to Poetry Tuesday: the day we dip (or dive) into the lovely world of poetry!

Interested in poetry?
Write a five senses poem in this activity for kids, adults, and everyone in-between.

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Note: This activity is brought to you by my very own poetry-loving mother, Elizabeth Thomas. Thanks, Mom, for all the love, support, and creative input you’ve given me over the years!


A.  Observations using the five senses

  1. If you’re able, this is a great chance to grab a notebook and take your writing outside! If you’re unable to go outside, find a place in the house that’s fairly quiet. Write on your paper:I see
  2. Now look around you. Write down all the things you see, one on each line. Keep going for a few minutes or until you run out of things you see. Try to include as many details as you can. For example, instead of just saying, “My shirt,” describe the shirt. (example: My red shirt that says, “Peace.”)I’m doing this project on my couch after my kids are in bed so this is what my list looks like:

I see
A dusty lampshade
Red suede couch cushions
A grape juice spill on the wooden floor
A cowboy boot sitting on
A grey and turquoise rug
The bare feet of
My husband

  • When you’re finished writing down all the things you see, move on to what you hear. Skip a line and write on your paper:I hear

 

Write down all the things you hear, one on each line.

 

  • Keep going in this way with the other three senses, one sense at a time, making sure to skip a line after each sense.I feel

 

I taste

I smell

  • When you’re finished, take a 2 minute break to stretch your legs, jump up and down, or move inside to continue the activity.

 

B. Crafting Your 5 Senses Poem

Welcome back! Hope you had a nice little break.
Did you know you just wrote a poem???

Take a look at your paper.

  1. Each sense (seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling) is like a little stanza, or group of lines.
  2. Give your poem a title! Name your poem based on your surroundings. So, if I were going to title mine at the moment, I would title it:After Bedtime Living Room
  3. The first word of your title should have a capital letter, as well as the larger words.  Smaller, more common words like the, and, in, a, and with don’t need to be capitalized.
  4. Write your title at the top of your page, before you wrote I see.
  5. Look at your poem and add any capital letters or punctuation in order for the poem to be a complete sentence.
    1. Note about capital letters: Traditionally, poems begin every line with a capital letter. Forward-thinking poets like E.E. Cummings challenged this and since your poem is already free-verse, not rhyming or following any kind of meter, you don’t have to capitalize if you don’t want to.
    2.  Make sure you add commas and periods as needed. You may also want to add the word “and” in order to complete the sentence. For example:After Bedtime Living Room
      I see
      a dusty lampshade,
      red suede couch cushions,
      grape juice spilled on the wooden floor,
      a cowboy boot laying on
      a grey and turquoise rug, and
      the bare feet of
      my husband.
       
  6. You’re finished! Read your poem aloud and enjoy it with a friend.
  7. Note: This week’s poem study is full of five-senses imagery.

Pleased with your poem? Share it in the comments or post it on my Facebook page so we can all read and enjoy them!

 


Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poem Study:  Summer in the South by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Sonnets (Week 1 of 2)