I will be part of a panel this weekend for the Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) where we authors present ideas on how our books can be used in the classroom. THE WEATHER IS NOT WILLING TO COOPERATE, SO I AM UNABLE TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE. HOWEVER, I WILL OFFER A DRAWING FOR A FREE COPY OF MY BOOK . WLMA MEMBERS PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON MY TWITTER https://twitter.com/LauraMoewriter, Use the hashtag #WLMABWN . AT THE END OF THIS WEEK I WILL ANNOUNCE A LUCKY WINNER
Here is one idea.
Steps to Writing an Ode/Laura Moe
Select a person, place, or thing you like a lot or care about. Brainstorm by following these steps: (Remind kids to keep it PG.)
In my example of a thing I use coffee.
Write 5 phrases describing how your item makes you feel, and why you feel this way.
I like coffee because it gives me energy, coffee smells good, coffee is warm, etc.
Write 5 phrases describing the unique qualities of your subject
Coffee is strong, dark, liquid, portable, etc.
Why is your subject important to you? Why do you adore or admire it so much?
Coffee is important because it wakes me up, makes my mornings better, helps me face the day…
Now Revise by:
-Crossing out lines or phrases where words are repeated or are too similar
-Joining some of your phrases to create lines
-Adding more feeling to meaningless or figurative language to flat lines
-Picking a good opening line
-Ordering the lines into the best sequence
-Choosing an ending line that sums up your feelings for the object. Here is MY poem:
Ode to Coffee
dark as coal
warm as summer
in my cup.
The aroma beckons,
on black, icy dawns
as it takes the chill
from my soul
and melts the edge
off my morning meanness.
Coffee is like a gentle symphony
whose crescendo rises slowly
as if pushing up the sun with one hand.
Laura Moe, 2009
Time: 40-45 minutes.
Students may choose to revise poems as homework or in class the next day.
Standards met: Personification, Language development skills. Teacher note: Introduce this lesson by using some odes by Pablo Neruda. “Ode to a Tomato,” Ode to Laziness,””Ode to Summer,” and “Ode to a watermelon,” are favorites with MS and grades 9-10. Point out how Neruda uses simple diction yet juxtaposes and arranges the lines to engage readers. Kids who read will like “Ode to a Book.” If kids are stumped, suggest write an ode to a favorite food, pet(s), car, bedroom, phone, computer, TV show, movie, friend(s), or store.
Peden, Margaret Sayers, tr., Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1990.
Students who enjoyed John Green's Looking For Alaska or Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell will also enjoy this book.