Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My poem, "The Ride," appears on the back cover of the January/February issue of Jack and Jill Magazine. Got my cc's in the mail today, and I'd like to give credit to the editor who made the changes. The poem is better because of them. Also, the artwork is sweet. Well done, Gary LaCoste.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Third Grade Imagery

No, I'm not going to describe what was left in the toilet in my class bathroom this afternoon.

You're welcome.

I am going to share some examples of imagery my students came up with. Some context: I did a lesson on imagery today in which I defined it, read a book that contained a lot of it (This one), and then gave students some things to describe--Clouds, rain, snow. I got some good stuff, some cliche* stuff, and of course there was the clueless contingent. I'm sharing the good and the bad, but leaving out the cliche. You're not eight; you already know them.

The Good

The clouds looked like giant mashed potatoes.
The snow fell like baby powder.
The clouds looked like fluffy sour cream on a blue spoon.
I watched through the window as God melted icicles.
The snow was like a feather; you couldn't hear it at all.
The clouds were like little white boats in the ocean sky.
The snow was like whipped cream.
I looked out my window as a drizzle comes down, tiny water balloons crashing and breaking apart.
The rain fell like little liquid raisins.
The clouds were like fat blobs of cream cheese spread on a bagel. (Editor's note: Yum.)

The Clueless

I love how the clouds move.
I hate snow because it storms and that's why I don't like rain. (Editor's note: Swear to god that's what it says.)
I like snow. (Same kid.)
Rain makes rainbows.
Snow can get things wet.
Rain everywhere when it rains.
I love when it snows because we have snow days (me too!)
Snow is like hail, but softer.

And the Never Gonna Be a Poet Award goes to...

Snow is a weather. It is a weather in the winter because there is snowflakes. Snow is cold. Snow is dangerous because you might slip on the ice and fall on the ice.

*If you'd like a lesson in futility (and humility) try teaching third graders what cliches are. It is, by definition, almost impossible. Nothing is overused to them--they're eight! You wouldn't believe how many kids think "He ran faster than a deer" is the height of originality.

Books Read In 2010

This one's for my own records. 78 books, a little short of last year's mark. I hit a dry spell in late summer.