5000 Words Poetry Lesson, 10-13 Year-Olds

img_1589I nearly jump out of my seat when students come up with bold, fresh images that sound like something out of open mic night. A year ago I decided to teach them simile. “A cat is like a kitten,” someone offered. Now I have them churning out similes like: disappointment tastes like rocks.¬†Fourteen tweens gather weekly in my home for writing/literature class. Today we learned how to write a sensory poem and a cinquain, both of which are non-rhyming, formulaic poems. I had to do one (ok, I just wanted to) as an example.

Joy, a tall cup of Starbucks, creamy brown.

Gurgles, burbles, bubbles, “pssst” on the hot plate.

Seared black and oily, cracked beans, smell like possibility.

Bitter, strong, I purse my lips against the steam.

This cup of American optimism and luxury

Feels extravagant in my hands, in my nose, down my throat.

 

For those of you who’d like to try a sensory poem, here’s the “recipe.” If you do, post it to the comments! ūüôā

Line 1 – Name an emotion or feeling. Finish the line with a color.

Line 2 – Tell what it sounds like.

Line 3 – Tell what it smells like.

Line 4 – Tell what it tastes like.

Line 5 – Tell what it looks like.

Line 6 – Tell what it feels like.

 

I also wrote a cinquain. I’ll try to post it¬†and some of my student’s writing in an upcoming post.

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              5000 Words Shoes on my Landing

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“Naughty” – Cracked Flash Fiction Entry

“Welcome, we’ve been expecting you,” my butler, bored and composed to near unconsciousness, greeted me with half-closed lids.

“Poppycock,” I snapped, and hefted my suitcase into his gnarled hands. With surprising deftness, they received it. He did, however, stumble a few steps backward into the arched portico of my family’s estate.

“The only time you’ve ever expected me was when I passed between Mummy’s thighs.” I brushed past him toward the grand staircase.

“On the contrary,” he said, “I expected they’d send Little Miss to boarding school, especially after the stunt she pulled with Chef. Not a morning passes, but your father doesn’t miss Chef’s sausage cheddar quiche.”

“Yes, well, she deserved it. Now if you don’t mind, I’ll ask you to unpack my things. I’m dying to play with the kittens. Mummy said they hang about the garage?”

“Yes. She has me feed them every day. They’re her favorite toys of late.”

I snorted.

“Little Miss?”

Swatting his question away, I bounced up the wooden stairs. Mummy enchanted them exactly how I demanded. The extra-springy landing popped me all the way to the top step.

“Octavian!” I called down, “fetch me Daddy’s dissection kit. I want to practice. Haruspication was my favorite class, you know.”

“I’m not surprised. Will Little Miss be needing a chicken then?”

“No, I’ll make do.” I doubt he missed the flint in my glance. The threat. Irritation flitted across his angular, bone-colored face. The deep creases bracketing his mouth twitched.

I didn’t care, what could he do to me? I was practically a credentialed witch. One semester to go.

From behind, I heard the distinct flick, felt the air rush. The smack, the sting against my backside.

Our shape-shifting butler retracted his tentacle. “Didn’t expect that, did you?”

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