Last week my writing partner, Stephanie, led a writing camp. She used this exercise with the students. I joined them on Wednesday for their writing marathon. It turned into a virtual writing marathon due to rain, but we managed to spend time visiting different places (through pictures) and responding with writing. Stephanie posted pictures on the kidblog she set up for the camp. For one of the pictures, her prompt was an Emily Dickinson poem and a picture of a mountain waterfall with the sun bursting over the hillside. For some, the picture led the poem. For others, Emily Dickinson’s words. Later in the week, the students were asked to find a favorite poem and “steal a line.” While we instruct them on plagiarism and the correct way to credit the original author, this activity is often successful. Somehow it breaks through the barrier of “I can’t write,” and leads to deeper creativity.
Here are a few samples from the writers at Write Your Way Camp 2012:
From Sophia with a borrowed line from Emily Dickinson
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
and stories of this place.
Its beauty just lights up my eyes,
and fills the land with grace.
I see the mountains, puffy clouds,
and greatly blinding sun.
But in some time,
I will realize,
That my journey’s just begun.
From Matthew with Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers,
hope is the thing with fur,
hope is the thing that rises the sun,
hope is the thing that purrs.
Kaylie with a borrowed title by Joe Fazio.
This is… Our Life
This is the game we play,
start at the beginning of the day,
run in circles, having fun in the sunny rays.
Lie down in the dewy grass,
wait for the day to pass.
Go back home and start again.
I know you’ll be there tomorrow, my friend.