with Michelle Cameron
Letters From/To the World!
A great batch of letters from (and even to) the world the writers created last time! Many included specific details from our world-building exercise. The students agreed that the most successful were very specific – in terms of names, descriptive qualities, etc. They thought that those that compared life on the new world to life on Earth were easiest to relate to. And the very best of the stories managed to integrate those details in some sort of narrative – whether that was simply the idea of travel to the new world, or a more complex plotline that was captured in the letter.
We did manage to get through all of the letters in good time today! Which left plenty of time for our next prompt.
Music as Inspiration
Music can be a wonderful source of inspiration. If your child (or you!) is blocked and don’t know where to start writing, putting on a piece of music can help get things going.
The best pieces of music are lyric-free (the lyrics can clutter a writer’s mind) and should be the right tone for the piece being written. In this case, I chose an “other worldly” piece that you can hear on Youtube, called Fired Earth Music - The Other World (Mark Petrie - Epic Heroic Orchestral). I was delighted by their reaction to the music – they were enthusiastic about writing as they listened and all felt that it helped immerse them in their worlds.
Before listening, we talked about using their senses in writing descriptive passages. Many of them included senses other than sight in their imagery and stories.
Once they completed these and we read them all, we talked about poetry. I explained that:
I asked them to take the piece they wrote to music and turn it into a poem. We began this in class and I had to model this for several of them. If they need some models while they’re home, you might show them some of the poems on this website: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poems-kids.
Their poems can be narrative or lyrical. They can feel free to build on the piece they wrote in class – especially those whose pieces are relatively short. It’s okay for them to change what they wrote as well.