Students - if you have writing friends, and if you listen to your writing friends carefully, you will often find writing ideas in their writing ideas. Yesterday I had the good fortune to work alongside some kindergarten students in Mrs. Laura Murray's classroom at Marilla Primary School in Elma, NY. One little girl, K., wrote and drew about her grandmother who had passed away not long ago. In her picture, K. drew her grandma up in heaven (in her wheelchair) and herself visiting Grandma in heaven. Both people held out their arms as if to hug.
Later last night, sitting with my blank paper and black pen, listening to the strong chilly winds, I remembered my loved ones (human and animal) who have died. I thought of them out there in the cold, and I wanted them back just for a bit. But instead of making this poem about all of them, I focused on one favorite cat, now gone for years. Thank you to K. for inspiring me hours earlier - she will never know how her words and artwork continued to sing quietly to me all day long. And thank you to her teacher, Laura Murray, who has created such a nurturing writing world for these young students (and yesterday, for me).
So students, talk with your friends about their writing. Allow yourself to ask yourself, "Hmmm...what does this piece make me think about?" Allow yourself to be moved by others' words that these same words may give you words and stories of your own.
Tomorrow is the last day of this week's Free Verse Week, a week which has stretched and taught me once more.
Below you can see my SPARK "inspiration piece"! This lovely image was taken by my SPARK partner, Amy Souza. I have until October 29 to write a response to this photograph, and on the flip side, Amy S. has yesterday's poem "Everynight Everywhere" as her "inspiration piece". On October 30, I will post each of our responses to the original works. In addition, I have another SPARK partner whom I have not yet met. And while I am not responding to work from her, she has a poem of mine. If she is willing to share that response, I will let you know. What a fun game!
Dahlia Soft Focus
Photo by Amy Souza
On Friday, I'm off to Minneapolis for Kidlit Con 2010 with my fellow Poetry Friday panelists, Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading, Toby Speed of The Writer's Armchair, Laura Purdie Salas of Writing the World for Kids, and Mary Ann Scheuer of Great Kid Books. I am thrilled to have the chance to meet these virtual friends in person and to learn more about this crossover of children's literature and blogging.
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