Home Brew: Day 8

Today I was pleasantly surprised, as it became clear that more of the 6th grade class was “with me” than I thought. Almost every single one of them completed their homework, which enabled us to seamlessly practice what I call “the 2 P’s of presenting”—projecting and pacing. The 21st Century Whiteboard that was so awkward yesterday came in handy today, as I led the students through a picture-prompt. Rather than have to pass the photo around the room, giving students only a short glance at it, I was able to project a wall-sized photo of the photo (the teacher did something fancy from her desk, clicked two buttons, and viola!). Check out this shark/surfer image that had the kids chomping at the bit to write “what happens next” in the story:
Here is a sampling of some of the things they shared today:
Carson, 6th grade, when asked to share a simile with the class: My favorite memory is from a time when my dad could still come to my house. From before he got a brain tumor. I remember when he died. I was in 5th grade and we rode to the funeral in a limo. Everyone lined the streets and saluted as we drove by. The fire trucks were all lit up and the lights shone as bright as the sun.
Tyler, 6th grade, when asked to close his eyes and imagine his favorite place, then free-write about it: My favorite place is the top of our hill. I like to go and sit in the dirt. It’s a good, quiet place to think for a while. It’s where I go to be alone.
Ally, 6th grade, when asked the same thing: My favorite place is in my mind. It’s on our farm, but no one fights. Everyone in my family is talking and laughing. It is a place where my heart feels like it is wrapped in warm towels.
Kristen, 6th grade, when asked to share her simile: Sometimes my family members talk so much their chatter sounds like a wood chipper running all day long.
Crystal, 6th grade, when invited to write a poem with a refrain in it: [Side note, the poignancy of the refrain Crystal selected is not lost on me. It might be a simple poem, but to see her repeatedly ask “Who am I?” speaking in the voice of a soldier was quite a haunting moment.]
Who Am I?

I have to march. Who am I?
I have to wear camo. Who am I?
I fly a helicopter. Who am I?
I kill my enemies. Who am I?
I am not a child. Who am I?
I am not very old. Who am I?
I will fight in Afghanistan. Who am I?
If you guessed my brother,

you got it right.
Showing 2 comments
  • Courtney Martin

    i really like "my heart feel like it's wrapped in a warm towel".

  • Heidi Willis

    These are really powerful posts about teaching and kids and poetry. I was a middle school English teacher for six years and poetry was always my favorite thing to teach. What the kids come up with can blow you away.

    Looks like you're doing good. 🙂

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