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”

Eat the Evidence

This exercise is part of a yearly Frog Hollow tradition: Spy School. Technically, I’m not supposed to tell you anything about Spy School (what Spy School?) on strict decoded orders from a mysterious character named Agent Secretface. So we’ll just say I was telling you about our Observational Writing Day. How does that sound? Anyhow,Continue reading “Eat the Evidence”

The Lists Game

Humor is a great teaching tool. That is one of the reasons that games can be such a great way to learn something. One of my favorites is the Lists Game. It is a pass-the-paper game, along the same lines as Exquisite Corpse, but instead of making crazy stories, it makes silly lists. Because youContinue reading “The Lists Game”

Exquisite Corpse

One obstacle that keeps children (and everyone) from writing is their own perfectionism. Frustrations with spelling, Saying Something Important and Getting Things Right can freeze kids up. I like to approach this problem in two ways. One is to make the work I ask the kids to do be real and beautiful and meaningful —Continue reading “Exquisite Corpse”