Smile (A Maya Angelou InkStart)


Hello Inksters!

Today’s InkStart remembers writer Maya Angelou (1928-2014). People all over the world read Maya Angelou’s poetry and autobiographies. Maya Angelou gave the world such a gift every time she wrote. She shared her writing and her ideas through her art. And she shared her smile.

Maya Angelou on Sesame Street

Maya Angelou on Sesame Street

When she was a little girl, one lesson Maya Angelou learned is that a smile can be a gift. She wrote that she “learned that I could be a giver simply by bringing a smile to another person.”  She also once said, “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

Smiles are powerful, lovely gifts. Just think about how you feel when someone smiles at you. Makes you want to smile, too, right?

Now let’s spend some time writing about our smiles:

What makes you smile?

How do you feel when you smile?

Do you have different kinds of smiles?

Where are you when you are smiling?

What are you doing while you are smiling?

Be descriptive. Really describe your smile and everything that is happening to make you smile. Try to use most or all of your senses (hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, smelling) when writing about smiles.

Can a smile smell or happen because of a smell? Sure! I know I smile every time I smell buttermilk pecan pie baking in the oven. Yummy!

After you put your ideas about smiles on paper, take some time to draw a picture that illustrates — gives a picture to — what you wrote.

And remember to share your writing and illustrations here at Inktopia Kids by commenting or emailing

Here’s to smiles and to wonderful writing!

To read some of Maya Angelou’s beautiful poetry, pick up a copy of Life Doesn’t Frighten Me and Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou.





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