with Michelle Cameron
Writing with the Senses
Today was all about the senses.
We switched up our typical order and started out with a series of writing exercises that isolated each sense, using them in combination at the end for a final piece.
For touch, we used gourds. The kids found them to be weird, bumpy, lumpy, cold – and more.
For smell, we used cinnamon. I talked about the “deodorization of American literature” and how smell is underused in writing today – particularly because it has been proven to be a conduit to memory. After smelling the cinnamon (with their eyes closed), most of the kids did emerge with one – some even two – memories that they wrote about.
For taste, we used cider. We talked about Harry Potter’s Christmas Feasts and how great writers can make you long for food when they write evocatively enough. We got pretty hungry after some of the descriptions.
Finally, we used sound as our final sense. I played an Autumn nature piece that you can hear on Youtube. As it played, the kids created pieces inspired by what they heard – and I asked them not just to use sound, but to layer on some other senses as well. The resulting pieces were quite beautiful.
As a result of the extended writing time, we only got to read one piece today . That’s okay, first because I took everyone else’s piece home with me to review, and second, because next week is our second revision piece.
So, for homework, everyone should thoroughly work on a piece that they’d like to bring in for revision. I’ve asked the kids to make sure they have incorporated senses in these pieces – if they weren’t there before, they need to rework their writing to include it.
As a reminder, here is what everyone needs to bring for our second revision workshop:
Bring in three copies of your work:
Make sure that your work adheres to these formatting requirements:
I’m looking forward to what they chose to work on and hope they’re all starting to consider what piece they’d like to include in the online journal that we’ll be publishing at the end of the session!
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