Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Creative Community

We're taking a break from poetry in my 8th grade class, mostly for my sanity. Today, we're taking magazine ads and making stories/poems from the pictures and captions. My goal is spontaneity, creativity, and freedom from constraints. I keep telling them to think beyond telling me what is happening in the picture, but show me images of what might have happened before or after the picture,why the people are in the picture, what the words inspire you to think about. Lemme tell ya, it ain't easy to do this with very concrete 8th graders. They keep saying, "This is a picture of some kids at school." But we're working on it. We're questioning each other, which is good! That's what I've been hoping for all year...a community of writers.

BTW... The caption I picked, "The Tale of the Magical Cracker." I can't wait to find a few minutes to write that!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reading update

Since my last post about reading, I've been a bit of a slug. I've only finished two books... I'm a little sad about that, but whatever. I can only do so much, you know!

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell....a memoir about the year-long attempt to cook and blog her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I liked it, I guess. I thought she used the f-word a little much. It didn't rock my world or anything, but it did make me think...where do people come up with these ideas?

Rainwater by Sandra Brown. I love me some Sandra Brown. You can usually count on some steamy scenes and lots of trash. Not in Rainwater. It was a tender tale about a depression-era single mom of an autistic child. No graphic sex. Not one single f-bomb that I recall. Whew. What a shocker! I loved it. Nothing revolutionary, but it was a good read.

Currently re-reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, both with my classes. Loving Mango Street! I'm planning to get in on The Magician's Apprentice by Ann Patchett soon. Oh, and I'm reading a book called The Second Oldest Profession: An Informal History of Moonshining in America by Jess Carr. For real.