Tag Archives: listening

Listen While You Write


Hi Inksters!

We hope this post finds you writing as part of our summer writing challenge. Remember the theme:

“My Inktopia Summer”

This Inkspiration will turn those notebook pages into sound recordings you can listen to!


Find your way to a spot. Any spot. A spot somewhere in your home. Or outside on the stairs, stoop, porch, yard. On a swing at a playground. At a picnic table in a park. On the subway or bus. In the car as you head somewhere with your family. In your room. Wherever you want to spend a few moments, find your way there.

Settle in — sit, stand, strike a tree pose, recline — to that spot. Get Comfortable. Then close your eyes and tune in to the sounds of the spot you are in.

What sounds are traveling your way as you rest here? Focus first on the sounds in the space. Then allow your ears to reach for sounds just beyond your space — the sounds drifting in from another part of the house, or through the window, or from another part of the playground. Move from your very local place and work your way out. In what ways can you become more familiar with this specific spot by listening? Then, how far can your attention to sound take you as you use this spot as a hub of your attention? What sounds do your ears pick up? What sounds do you hear in other ways — you know, that rumbling sound of the truck passing by that makes your body rumble or vibrate, too. Notice, too, those ways that sound affects your body beyond your ears.

Just now, a butterfly fluttered past my window, its wings whispering through the still air. What sounds can you imagine that your ears can’t detect?

At any point during your listening time, open your notebook and record in words and images what you are able to listen to. How might you represent the sound of the wind blowing through trees? Make your words and those pages speak, sing, sound. Write words that will encourage readers to listen.

And remember to let us listen, too! Enjoying creating your own sonic Inktopias!

And remember to spread the ink! Share pages with us by taking photos of the page and sending the image as a jpeg to inktopiakids@gmail.com. For this inkspiration, you might think about sending recordings as well! We will post your Writer’s Notebook pages on our site. Help us fill our site with summer fun!

And if you are searching for a fun summer read full of listening, check out Lemniscates’ Silence.




Listening Over Sweet Potato Pie




Image result for listen images

Hello Inksters!

Thanksgiving is only a day away. Last year, we invited you to share all that you were thankful for visually — by creating your own Gratitude Mandalas.

This year, let’s show our gratitude by listening. This Thanksgiving, approach a family member or friend and ask them to tell you a story. Perhaps you want to know how your grandparents celebrated Thanksgiving when they were growing up. Or how they met. Maybe your parents have fun memories of a cherished childhood trip. Ask a relative about where they grew up and how they used to spend their time. What was their favorite music or musician? Their favorite book or food? What were video games like when they were growing up? Can they tell you about a memorable game they played in? Or a play in which they performed? Can they remember a time when they got excited about learning something?

Listen carefully. Then later, write down what you remember about the stories you listened to — and what you noticed about the storyteller as she or he told you a story.

Another way to spend time listening to family stories is to participate in StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen. Storycorps, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to giving everyone the chance to record, share, and save their unique stories. Stories recorded through StoryCorps are archived — carefully saved and kept — through the United States’ Library of Congress, the largest library in the world.

Have a parent visit StoryCorp.org and download the storytelling app. Then spend your holiday interviewing a grandparent or another elder who is either a family member or someone you know. Invite them to share their stories with you and, through their recording, with the world.

Like StoryCorps, Inktopia Kids believes deeply in the importance of stories. Your stories are important to us and we are grateful to have the opportunity to help you find that creative spark, that question or image that will get you not only creating or remembering stories, but also writing them down. And we know how important your stories are to you. Think about how much you enjoy having other people listen as you share your stories with them. Feels amazing, right? Invitations to share your stories with willing listeners are definitely gifts to be thankful for.

So this Thanksgiving, whether you record family stories through your ears and in your Writers Notebooks or participate in StoryCorps’ #TheGreatListen, be sure to show thanks for the people and all their stories by listening.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Story Sharing!