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:

smell dog-838242_1920

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!

smell dog-838242_1920

 

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.

prairie.jpg

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)

Fun List Mondays

What are Three Smells You Like (And Two You Don’t)?

Fun List Monday, August 13

Ahhh, what is that heavenly smell? It must be the chicken I put in the crock pot, or the apple crisp in the oven. Maybe it’s freshly picked flowers or the breeze after a storm. What smells do you enjoy?

smells.jpg

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.

Story Share Topic!

Story Share Topic: Laugh!

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:

mr. pineapple funny

Write a story that makes people laugh!

What does the character do that’s so funny? What does he/she say? Or perhaps the situation they’re in is funny and the character gets swept away in it!

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: Funny Things

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

edit laughter horse-1844792_1920.jpg

 

Write about something funny.

Help to get you started:
Has something funny happened to you? Have you ever done something funny? What kinds of things do you find funny? Out of ideas? Try writing “It would be funny if…” and make something up!

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: Limerick Fill-in-the-blank

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

Edward_Lear_A_Book_of_Nonsense_01
Edward Lear’s Illustration of his Old Man with a beard

Interested in poetry?
Construct a limerick in this activity for kids, adults, and everyone in-between.

A.  Introduction to Limericks
Have you ever read a limerick? They sound a little like this…

The Jibbericky
There once was a poem named Limerick,
Who thought everything was a gim-er-ick.
It started to giggle,
Which made the words jiggle,
And mixed them all up into jibberick.
~Hannah Spuler

(Written in complete and utter silliness three minutes ago. The birds in my back yard are wondering what’s so funny)

Limericks are (often) silly poems that follow a certain pattern of beats (stresses) and rhymes. If you’re looking for a poem to make people laugh, a limerick fits the bill. No one is quite sure where the limerick started, but Wikipedia.org seems to think it’s as old as the early 1700’s. Oh, and there’s also a town of Limerick in Ireland which seems to have nothing to do with the poem. (Didn’t you want to know that?)

B. Limerick Example

Here’s an example from Edward Lear, master of the limerick. He wrote a book called A Book of Nonsense that’s full of all kinds of silly… nonsense. (Hm! Imagine that.) His book was full of limericks, which is actually what made the limerick a popular form today.

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!–
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
~Edward Lear (Book of Nonsense, 1)


C. Fill-in-the-Blank!

Now it’s time to write your own Limerick! To make it easy for you, I’ve made a form so you can just fill in the blanks.

Details in case you get stuck:

  1. A limerick has 5 lines.
  2. The 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme
  3. The 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines all have 3 beats and 7-9 syllables
  4. Need help understanding syllables? Think of how many times your chin drops when you say a word. Lim-er-ick has three syllables. Li-on has two. Cat has one. Still don’t understand? Ask an adult to help!
  5. The 3rd and 4th line rhyme
  6. The 3rd and 4th line have 2 beats and 5-7 syllables
  7. They’re as silly as you want them to be. So don’t get too caught up in the details!

Form poem: Limerick

  1. There once was a ____________ named __________
  2. Who wanted to ________________________.
  3. He/She/It (sat/stood/laid) on a _________________,
  4. And said, “What a ______________!”
  5. And then ___________________________________.

Still feeling stuck? Go back to the Edward Lear example and follow it as a model.

Note to parents: Limericks are fun for the whole family to write together! Small children like to come up with the character in the poem but might not be able to rhyme or do syllables on their own yet. That’s perfectly fine! Let them help as much as they’re able! By 4th or 5th grade many children will be able to contribute quite well.

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 The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks, Week 2