The National Day on Writing is tomorrow — Friday October 20th.
January 20th is Inauguration Day in the United States. This means that President Barack Obama leaves the White House after 8 years in office. What would you like to say to him? What do you want him to know as he leaves the White House? Michelle Obama is also stepping down from serving as the First Lady of the United States. What would you write in a letter to her? Take some time to write a letter to one or both of them.
Inauguration Day also means that the United States welcomes a new president to the White House. Perhaps you want to write a letter to Donald Trump. What would you like to say to him? What do you want him to know as he enters the White House? Take some time to write a letter to him.
Writing a letter is a special kind of Inkspiration. When you write a letter, you are writing to someone in particular. You are entering a conversation with them. You are letting them know that you are thinking about them enough to take the time to write to them. You are sharing what you are thinking or what is going on in your life and world. You are inviting the person you write to to write back and share something with you. Here is a letter page for to you use if you wish:
Remember to send an image of your letters here for posting or to share your letter in a comment to this post.
Keep Writing, Inksters!
Happy Summer! It’s been a long time. We hope you’re still writing where you are — every day.
In elementary school, I loved to write on crinkled paper. I would take a nice, neat piece of lined paper, crumple it up completely into a ball, then carefully uncrumple it. I would then take a pen and write on that uncrinkled paper. I loved the sound and feel of the pen on that textured paper.
Your Inkspiration is to find different textures to write on. Crumple up a page in your Writer’s Notebook. Go outside and find different leaves to tape into your Notebook. Then pay attention to how it feels to write on the leaves with sharpie. Write on scraps of fabric, slick wrapping paper, a piece of brown paper bag, or on a mirror or white board with a dry erase marker. Write with chalk on a sidewalk. Write a sentence or your favorite words on a shell or a smooth rock.
Use your writing to discover all the textures you can find. Have fun discovering new writing surfaces!
YA writers and older: visit next week to learn how you can move from writing on texture to creating texture in your writing.
Recently, to round off two months of Inktopia Writing Club, young Inksters read their original writing to a full theater at the Holderness School . On this special night, Inksters provided intermission entertainment during the school’s annual Poetry Out Loud competition.
First up, Claire reading “Hideout”. Click on the link to watch and listen!
Now, your turn: How would you describe your favorite place to hide out?
A little background: Every week in their club meetings, Inksters wrote new poems, stories, dialogue, and vignettes, played word games, and shared their writing with each other. They had a lot of material to choose from for their reading!
About reading in front of 300 people, most of whom were high school students, Claire (age 8), said, “They were all so nice. They clapped and came up to me to let me know how good my poem was.” Lucas, also age 8, said he was “so nervous. I couldn’t believe I was on the stage. But I did it!” And Cannon, age 11, is ready to do this again. “I’m excited about Spring,” Cannon shared, “because we’ll start up Writing Club again!”
Over the next few posts, we’ll feature more brave Inksters as they share their writing in front of a live audience. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write in response or to find a way to share one of your creations with an audience of 1 or 300!
Happy Listening and Watching!
Just in case you didn’t hear, scientists last week confirmed that gravitational waves exist. They even recorded the sound of two black holes colliding! Listen here: Gravitational Waves
And learn more here: National Geographic
And here: The Guardian
Coincidentally, today’s guest inkspiration — a poem by Logan, age 11 — imagines the possibility of hearing the stars. What a surprise in that line — the idea of hearing something people normally spend time gazing, or looking, at. After reading the poem, we think about nighttime and the stars in a new way.
Here is Logan reading the poem:
And here is the text of her poem:
- Spend time with this poem. Write down words you enjoy from the poem, phrases you like, questions you have about the poem.
- Show us what you see! Draw a picture to illustrate, or go along with, a part of the poem.
- Write your own poem about a time of day. Logan writes about nighttime. What would your poem about nighttime be? What about the early morning? Or midday? Lunchtime or play time? Try to include a line in your poem that is surprising to your reader and that allows the reader to imagine something in a different way.
Drawn to the science? Write in your journals, too, about what you learned from the videos. What questions do you have about this discovery? What do you wonder about?
A big Inktopia Thank You to Logan for sharing her work with us!
Remember to share your creations and questions here by responding to the post.
Have an idea for an inkspiration? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been a long time. Too long. But I hope you were off finding inspiration right where you are.
We’re back…and just in time for the start of Fall, or Autumn. I know we don’t want to let go of summer and Fall is not yet officially here. But we are starting to see early signs of it. In the Northeast United States, Fall is a dramatic season. Green leaves dress in brilliant oranges,reds, and yellows. The air turns crisp (Sometimes. Eventually…It’s been quite warm recently in New Hampshire!). People go apple picking. We are all in school. So, today’s inkspiration invites us to pay close attention to Fall.
Your inkspiration today is to go outside and find Fall. Where is Fall where you live? Is it in the colorful fallen leaves on the ground? At the tips of mountain ranges? It is on a calendar hanging on a wall? Do you smell it in the air’s crispness? Do you taste it in homemade or store purchased apple pies? Is it sitting on your steps in the form of a pumpkin waiting for decorations? Or is it in your early dreams of Halloween fun? Wherever it is, go out and find it! Then sit with it for a while and write about it in your journals. Sketch it, too. Use all your senses and your deep imaginations to capture early Fall on the page.
But, you might be wondering, what if you live in a place where Fall doesn’t happen in a dramatic way? Well, then write a piece that captures the specifics of your place now. Or write a story where you imagine how Fall might make its way to you.
Please send your Fall our way by replying to this post.
Happy Writing and Happy Fall!
We’ve enjoyed so many imaginative books so far this summer. One of them is Firefly July, a collection of poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko website. The title poem, written by J. Patrick Lewis, is especially creative:
When I was ten, one summer night,
The baby stars that leapt
Among the trees like dimes of light,
I cupped, and capped, and kept.
In this poem, fireflies are described as
“baby stars that leapt
Among the trees like dimes of light.”
Just in these two lines of poetry, the poet uses metaphor and simile to help us imagine the fireflies. Writers use METAPHORS and SIMILES to create descriptive comparisons that help readers imagine vividly as they read.
METAPHORS compare two things by saying that one thing is the other thing. So, in our poem, fireflies are “baby stars that leapt among the trees”
SIMILES use the words “like” or “as to make a comparison. So, in our poem, the firelies fly in the trees “like dimes of light.”
Want to try to create your own SIMILE or METAPHOR? Make a list of all the objects and activities you enjoy during the summer. (Fireflies are definitely on our list. What’s on yours?) Then choose something from your list and create a simile or metaphor to describe it to your reader. To help you, ask yourself these questions:
- What does this object or activity remind me of?
- Does it look, feel, sound, taste, or smell similar to something I have seen before?
- How might I describe it so that other people can see the object or activity in as lively a way as I do?
- How can I help people who have never experienced this activity or seen this object imagine it as well?
Enjoy creating those metaphors and similes. Remember to share some of them with us here at Inktopia Kids!
What fun books are you reading this summer? Make note in your journals of METAPHORS and SIMILES you find in the stories and poems you read and in the songs you listen to. Which ones do you like the most? Which ones would you like to try to use in your own writing? Share your favorite summer reads with us as well.
Have fun creating and imagining — write where you are!