Translation with Nine Year Olds

I’ve been doing poems using words in Spanish or French with my students for several years, and have been trying to figure out a way to do our own translations. They love working with words in other languages, but it’s always felt a little daunting to do a whole translation, given that I have rustyContinue reading “Translation with Nine Year Olds”

Writing to Music

Once or twice a year, I bring my mp3 player into class, and we write to music. We write to things like Tchaikovsky, Bach, Buena Vista Social Club, Edith Piaf, fiddle tunes, Tuvan throat singing, and a seven year old’s piano compositions. I avoid English lyrics, just to let everyone’s imaginations be free of aContinue reading “Writing to Music”

James Bond and the Past Perfect: teaching grammar through poems

As I was organizing things for the first class of the year yesterday, I found a gem from the archives. We had been learning about the past perfect tense and how weird it is to try to write in it in any extended way. Instead of just blabbing at the kids about this, I hadContinue reading “James Bond and the Past Perfect: teaching grammar through poems”

The Homonym List

Writing about puns got me thinking¬†about homonyms, which made me think of The Homonym List. My little sister was a math kid. She used to¬†put pictures of the math books she had finished in the photo cover of her school binder, where most people put pictures of horses or Christian Slater. (Did I just dateContinue reading “The Homonym List”