Filed under Language Arts Lessons

Creative Archeology: Motel of the Mysteries

Creative Archeology: Motel of the Mysteries

When I was a child, I loved the story of archeologist Howard Carter uncovering King Tut’s tomb. I could easily envision his face as he first peered within and glimpsed the treasures inside, exclaiming that he saw “Things, wonderful things!” These words are echoed by fictional archeologist Howard Carson in David Macaulay’s 1979 book, Motel … Continue reading

Creating a Sonnet

Creating a Sonnet

I finished writing a sonnet today. In French. I make no claim that it was a good sonnet. In fact, when explaining it, I labeled it ”A sonnet that wasn’t a real sonnet,” since the patterns of rhymes and syllables were correct but I changed the rhythm of the accents somewhat. But still—a sonnet. Unless … Continue reading

In the Heights: Creatively

In the Heights: Creatively

I was a young adolescent when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan. Their music sounded from every treasured 45 rpm record (yes, actual records) and boys in school were suddenly send home from school for combing their inch-long hair forward in the dreaded “Beatles hairdo.” After that phenomenon, nothing much has compared, so there … Continue reading

6-Word Memoirs

6-Word Memoirs

In a New York Times opinion column this  fall, Larry Smith, founder and editor of Smith Magazine,  suggested that his six-word memoir format is a good one for recording our pandemic times. I agree. Six-word memoirs are exactly what they sound like, an expression of a memory or a moment in time, limited to six … Continue reading

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. In the midst of a spreading pandemic, many of us will be missing holiday traditions and large family gatherings to stay safely at home. As we do, we’ll be trying to figure out how we can connect virtually and—if we are creative—perhaps invent new and valuable traditions. … Continue reading

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Revising Our Thinking About Revising

Recently, I’ve been thinking about writing. I’ve been reading research about writers and thinking about how it relates to the writing students do in schools—virtual or otherwise. Of course, there are many kinds of writing students need to learn, much of it used to express their ideas in various domains: essays about history, reviews of … Continue reading

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

Acorn Elves, Just for Fun

It is autumn in Michigan, that beautiful season that fills me with equal amounts of awe and dread. Crisp fall days with glorious leaves and (pre-COVID) cider mill trips are some of the most beautiful of the year. But we all know what’s coming next. Winds come, leaves fall, and November gloom descends before we … Continue reading

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

Brandon Leake: America’s Got Creative Talent

I’m not a regular watcher of America’s Got Talent, but the pandemic changes many things. So, recently, I ended up watching the last few episodes of the talent competition. There were singers, lightening-speed dancers, magicians, death-defying aerialists, and one extraordinary spoken word artist, Brandon Leake. The first time I heard his poetry, it took my … Continue reading