Jo Knowles: Teachers Write 11: Snapshot

From: Jo Knowles
August 13, 2012 at 08:35AM

Hi Teachers!

Last week I didn’t realize when I posted that it was the “last week” of Teachers Write! And I had a final writing exercise waiting just for that week! So, I’m sharing it today. 🙂

This is actually a slightly recycled prompt, but I think fitting for the journey we’ve all shared this summer.

1. Find a photo or image from this summers’ writing journey that represents your experience participating in Teachers Write.

2. Describe the scene by making a “list poem” of the feelings, thoughts, insights, struggles, triumphs, discoveries, friendships, etc. of your experience.

3. Share your poem on your own blog. Better yet, share with Kate and all the others who made Teachers Write possible! 🙂

Here is the original post I based this exercise on. This could be a fun back-to-school exercise to do with kids, choosing their best summer memory. Or an end-of-school exercise, choosing their best classroom memory. It helps the writers see how important tiny images/details are in conveying the depth and deeper meaning of the “big picture.”

1. Find a photo that makes you happy.

Photo stolen from my friend Katy. 🙂

2. Describe the scene by making a “list poem” of the feelings, thoughts, smells, sights, tastes, etc. of the captured moment.

a table spread with warm dishes
from 7 different homes
piles of boots and shoes by the door
6 guitars
2 ukeleles
song books scattered across the coffee table
a plate of pumpkin whoopie pies and cake balls
balanced on a copy of Rise Up Singing
there is a carefully-guarded glass of pomegranate cosmos under the chair
and someone is sipping whiskey from a coffee mug
a glass of wine keeps the cosmos company
and all over, there are scattered juice boxes left half full
by the herd of children that runs upstairs
there is singing off key
on key
off key
the children stop to dance
and sometimes sing
then off they go back upstairs
they sneak a cake ball from the table
and a hug from a parent
heads gather around an ipad screen
searching for songs on YouTube
or is that Angry Birds they’re playing?
someone doesn’t admit she still isn’t sure what that is
we date ourselves with songs from the 80’s
there might have been Guns N Roses
and Neil Diamond? No, not possible
but there is laughter
and the warmth from a wood stove
and from the arm of a friend slung tight around a shoulder
there is music loud
and music quiet
a boy gets brave and sings his favorite song to loving ears
there are hugs good-bye
and promises for another gathering
there’s an open door
and black sky
and spits of white
and jokes that it can’t be what we know it is
there is a quiet drive home
and talks of how nice it is
to have such dear friends

3. Share yours on your own blog. Leave a comment with the link so we can find it! 🙂

Have a great school year, everyone!!!



Posted on August 13, 2012, in Jo Knowles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Jo Knowles: Teachers Write 11: Snapshot.

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