Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

A Boy, a Bicycle, and a Garden Hose 

      One way to inspire writing in the classroom is to ask students to list the first words that come to mind when they view this photo. Aspiring writers can then compile a master list of keywords that will help to stimulate their imaginations. For example, the word bicycle suggests any number of possibilities, as do water, child, boy, and hose.

    Thoughts of another writer always provide inspiration for others. And sometimes just a portion of a direct quotation can serve as a trigger for new compositions, as in Walt Whitman’s “Silent and amazed, even when I was a little boy/I remember I heard…” Using this concept as the basis for an opening sentence, students can recall events that occurred earlier during their lives.

            Provocative questions can help to trigger written compositions. For example: Why is this boy not wearing any clothes while he washes the bicycle? What would be the responses of passersby when they see the boy, the bicycle, and the garden hose? Where are the boy’s parents? How would you respond to this situation if you witnessed it?

Keywords: bicycle, boy, childhood, garden hose

Challenge: Write a monologue from the point of view of a parent whose child is constantly creating problems for the family.

Possible Opening Line: I just don’t know what to do with that child. The other day my neighbor told me that …

Another Source of Inspiration

For more photos and information not included in this blog, please visit http://www.prufrock.com/Reflect-and-Write-P1752.aspx. Reflect and Write contains more than 300 poems and photos; keywords; quotations; either “Inspiration” or “Challenge” prompts; a “Themes to Explore” section; a “Twelve Ways to Inspire Your Students” section; a special “Internet Resources” section, and more. Includes CD with photos and poems from the book.

Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner and Elizabeth Guy (Prufrock Press, 2013), 153 pages, $24.95.  See the latest review of Reflect and Write at http://www.amazon.com/review/R29PUHZ6Z2QP53/ref=cm_sw_em_r_asr_3gqG...

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