When Pencils Get Emotional [Writing a Mask Poem with Emotion]

Last week,?I did?Young Authors Conferences all week with 4th-8th graders. I’ll be doing a poetry workshop I tried out in March, and the kids and I had lots of fun with it. The theme of the conference is making unforgettable characters, so we wrote mask poems as everyday objects. But then we rewrote them from different emotions/moods. It was a blast. I like to use props when possible to make things fun. Here are a few pics of the activity and a few first drafts–kids had just 3 minutes for each draft! I was so pleased with their creativity and enthusiasm–wait until you see the fun and moody details they came up with!

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Randomness makes a great poetry starter. We had handouts with everyday objects and moods. Then we used Velcro targets to determine what object we’d write about and the different moods we would try.

 

My fuzzy prop targets
My fuzzy prop targets
Each section of the target had an object (on one board) or a mood (on the second board). Kids had a blast tossing the balls and seeing what they hit.
Each section of the target had an object (on one board) or a mood (on the second board). Kids had a blast tossing the balls and seeing what they hit.
We wrote three-line drafts. I suggested (but didn't demand) a specific goal for each line.
We wrote three-line drafts. I suggested (but didn’t demand) a specific goal for each line.

 

I always do improve rough drafts in front of the kids first. Here's a pencil one with no emotion attached to it.
I always do? rough drafts in front of the kids first. Here’s a pencil one with no emotion attached to it.
And here's another first draft, this one of a pencil with the mood HOPEFUL (I think that was it).
And here’s a second draft, this one of a pencil with the mood HOPEFUL. I think the beginning of the third line got cut off. It was something like “I want to…” or “I long to…”
Student work: a crabby backpack
Student work: a crabby backpack
Student work: a happy tree
Student work: a happy tree
Student work: a thankful hand
Student work: a thankful hand

 

20 Responses

  1. Love this activity! What fun and creativity! I will steal this for my writing camp this summer. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Love this activity! What fun and creativity! I will steal this for my writing camp this summer. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I love this idea! I am doing a writing camp next week and this will be perfect. Do you have any other short writing ideas? I am thinking about doing riddle-kus also — thanks to you — but I have four days to fill. I would appreciate any other suggestions you might have. I will have two age groups grades 2–3 and 4–5. Thanks!

  4. I love this idea! I am doing a writing camp next week and this will be perfect. Do you have any other short writing ideas? I am thinking about doing riddle-kus also — thanks to you — but I have four days to fill. I would appreciate any other suggestions you might have. I will have two age groups grades 2–3 and 4–5. Thanks!

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