Poets & Writers has a collection of great writing prompts on their website. They include poetry, fiction, and — hooray! — nonfiction (my personal favorite).
Browse through online newspapers for stories that took place on the same day at least ten years apart. Write an imaginative essay based on…
Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem, Jabberwocky, being performed on The Muppet Show!
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
I am so proud of my former student, “E. Regina.” I worked with her for about three years, and she is now working on her fifth book! She also won a 24-hour short story contest. (I didn’t work with her on the story. She did that on her own. They grow up so fast!)
She is bound and determined to get published and I have no doubt she will achieve her dream. She writes: “I want to break the boundaries of what people believe teens are capable of.” Love it. Check out her blog! It’s full of fine writing and very good advice. You can read her award-winning short story here.
Is it hard to find time to sit down and read poetry? Well, there’s a new “app” called Poetry Daily. You can download it for FREE at the iTunes store! The “app” will send you one poem every day.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die every day
of what is found
–William Carlos Williams
Linda Schrock Taylor has finished her first book! I have been reading her essays online for years. Back in my corporate days, I would sit in my cubicle and admire her deft critiques of public education. Most people recognize the symptoms, but so few can diagnose the problems. She could, and what I liked about her was that she seemed so “old school.”
She believes in things like handwriting and phonics. She is big proponent of homeschooling. She writes articles like “Two Books and a Blackboard: How We Used to Do It.” When I got my first classroom teaching job last fall, I sent her an email that said, “Help! What can you recommend to me?” She graciously responded with a long list of suggestions that have proven most helpful to me throughout the year.
If you are a homeschooling parent, or a parent who is concerned about your child’s reading, writing, and spelling skills, I highly recommend you check out her essays here. (Warning: There is a bit of politics mixed in.) If nothing else, her conviction is infectious!
Do you have a writer in the house? Do you live in or near Atlanta, GA? Consider signing your child up for Ms. Scribbles’ Summer Writing Workshop! We’ll start with a 1/2 day writing camp to kick things off. There will also be an end-of-summer reading where writers can reconvene and read aloud what they wrote, revised and polished to perfection over the summer. Writers will also have their work published in the 2013 Summer Anthology. Deadline for Early Bird Registration: May 1. Click here for more details: Summer Writing Workshop.
Poetry takes many forms, as proved by one of my very talented students, “Dr. Dimonds.” Check out his song “Diamonds on My Feet” on YouTube:
“Herobrine gets me ready for a new fight
I hit the crafting table, go and start a new quest
You in your house getting pork in my wooden chest
I’m in the mine getting ore with a diamond vest
Young minecrafter, coal in my pockets
I got a mine filled with whole diamond sockets.”
(I think the lyrics probably make sense if you have played the video game Minecraft before. ) Nice writing, Dr. Dimonds!
And it’s not. Kenneth Bernstein recently explained his opinion on the problems with No Child Left Behind, with regard to writing and testing, in Academe: “Students arriving in our high school lacked experience and knowledge about how to do the kinds of writing that are expected at higher levels of education…The AP course required that a huge amount of content be covered, meaning that too much effort is spent on learning information and perhaps insufficient time on wrestling with the material at a deeper level.”
In Ms. Scribbles Workshop, the student is encouraged to wrestle with the material at a deeper level, which will lead to the kind of writing that is expected at higher levels of education.