Mentoring and tutoring projects

WriteOn! - Lea School

November 20, 2009

WRITING FROM IMAGE

Pick a photo. Now use it to weave a story, filled with imagination, packed with creativity. Pick a photo of a volcano, and tell a story of ancient Mayan Gods. Pick a photo of Ground Zero, and tell a story of heroism and bravery at its purest.

We told all of our kids to take their photo, and tell us what everyone sees and then - show us what only they could see. And they saw some pretty incredible things.


Response to a photo By Brian

I see a boy kid. He is no ordinary kid. He has wings on strings. He has some blood thirst. Fighting demons I see this kid being mad at someone trying to have his demons go after him or her. I see this kid having one of his demons use a lightning ball. I see the kid talking some kind of language saying something mean or saying something for the demons to go and get the person. I see the kid's face in a little box that tells me that he is thinking to say something like let's go.

I live on this place that only demons live I fight for my life to stay on my world called Dementhive It's like a home that I could choose It's like I'm always on the news I have found my destiny Now it's all about me so finally I have come to fight so I could get everything right Response to a Photo By Jahzay

In my head I see the picture as a terrified disaster that has happened, such as 9/11. It's very smoky with lots of black and gray clouds of dust. Buildings, Bricks, metal, nonmetal and glass has all fallen apart and collided together to make on huge mountain-top mess in the streets of New York City. I see a fireman trying to find survivors of the kind. You cannot see anything but smoke, missing pieces off buildings, and one fireman risking his life to save the lives of others. All there is left is a lonely cold world of screams and whispers flooding the air.

There once was a fireman named Charlie-Marcus the Third. He has worked as a NYFD for 5 years coming. He was riding 5 blocks away from the twin towers, when he heard a huge crash! He has seen from a distance that the northern tower had black smoke coming out of the top of the building with a furious fire. He called for backup while heading towards it. After 5 minutes went be he had seen that the southern tower had the same situation as the first tower. When that happened there were a huge black and gray cloud of dust spreading out everywhere coming towards him as if it were a smoky hurricane. Charlie-Marcus the Third made a U-turn and headed towards the other direction. He saw from his mirror people jumping off the building due to the flames off the building. He also seen people running from t he cloud the same way as he was driving. Next he saw both of the towers collapsing while tons of people were still in the buildings. Finally came the results of the 2 twin towers, the loss of thousands of people, and the making of a memory named 9/11.

Response to a Photo By Alexis

There was a huge snow blizzard and every time this island had a snow storm the island would move and then on Friday the 13th of November this small strange island got scooped out of the earth and 150 ft. into the air. And now to this very day water drains in the hole the island came from. What we don't know now is that somebody behind all of the somebodies in this world knows what happened to this strange island. This somebody is superhuman and knows what happens in the world. He even knows when this strange world end. This psychic knows that this island is the most popular island. The island is even popular with humans. To this very day the island is still soft in the air but not moving. Most people say that this island looks like Philadelphia.

Response to a Photo By Olivia

There is a blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Odd trees with feathery leaves hanging down from the tree, so peaceful. A big hut or room with giant steps. A scary place, but then exciting. Mayan engravings, to tell a tale of ancient Mayans. So beautiful, so special. The room for sacrifices so lonely. The trees and plans move swiftly in the wind, softly.

"Today shall be the greatest day of our lives, men! We will find the treasure and bring it home, we will be rich!" Walking through the jungle they see many animals that they've never seen before. The explorers came across an ancient Mayan home. It was very small and creepy. Two men went in, but didn't come out. The other 3 men went in for them, surprisingly 5 Mayans came out and fought the European explorers. Two other men died and one made it out. He ran as fast as he could, got back to the boat, and fled for Europe. The Mayans didn't bother chasing him, but what they didn't know is that Philip Hoffman, the last explorer, took some ancient Mayan treasure.

November 13, 2009

HISTORY

In this curious exercise based on the ideas and structure of the poem "History" by Tomaz Salamun, the kids revealed who they really were. We gave them a sheet of paper with blanks, and told them to simply fill them in—and make it good. They wrote tales of fictional goddesses, a puff of a dream somewhere. Sure enough, the kids produced some outstanding pieces. And this is History.

History by Evelynn (based on "History" by Tomaz Salamun) Evelynn is a goddess Evelynn is a form of laughter; She walks on a cloud, she is amazing. People and I, we watch her in amusement. We are in disbelief, maybe she is a myth. Maybe she is a fiction character, in the form of a real person. Maybe she is just dust, or a special substance. She might only come out in the night Possibly she should be a prized possession. She should be talked about as if no one has ever been this way before. Next year, she probably will go on vacation. But in June people say: She disappears from earth This is Evelynn, she is a beautiful dream, Her effect on this earth is incredible and this is history.


Teyonna's reasons why, if she were a pumpkin, she should not be chosen from a pumpkin patch to be made into a jack-o-lantern:

You shouldn't take me because if you touch me you will turn into a pumpkin. Also because I have slime on me that can't come off your hands and it wouldn't feel right if you write with a pencil. If you carve me, I will haunt your house.

October 9, 2009

TEN WORDS POEMS, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND ERASURES

We all lie, but it's not always a bad thing. A few weeks ago, we introduced the students to the theme of "lying" - something that can help their writing flow freely, unfettered by the boundaries of truth that might hold them back in normal life. We hoped to help them recognize that the best story can be one that takes on its own life after a creative spark of falsity formed in the mind.

We've posted six of this week's most outstanding pieces, which include examples from three separate exercises we used on the day - "10 Words Poems", "Autobiographies", and "Erasures". In the "10 words poem", students write any 10 words in boxes on a page and pass their word list to someone else. Each student then develops a poem around the words he or she received. Then, following the week's theme of lying, the students were encouraged to get creative and write fake autobiographies of themselves, based on autobiographies of Lil Wayne and Maya Angelou. And finally, for "Erasures," we gave the students two news articles and presented them with one simple task - Erase. The students took to the page with markers and crossed out all the irrelevant words, until those that remained formed a poem.

We're truly proud of the deceitful work our students created! Please enjoy!

October 2, 2009

THE THIRD EYE: COLLABORATIVE POEMS

"My Third Eye Sees" is a very simple exercise in which you start a poem with the words - "My third eye sees", and then get creative. You must write down anything that you believe your "third eye" could see. And when we gave it to our 6th to 8th graders from Lea Elementary, it was pretty easy to see how creative these kids really are. Their responses crossed the spectrum, from a simple "Picnic in the park", or just "Lots of people" to amazing visions, such as a "Rainbow Elephant" or a "Pool of Diamonds. The most amazing thing, however, was noticing that even their deepest hopes could be revealed by such a simple exercise, with images such as - "My Godfather returning from Iraq", or simply "Happiness." Seeing what their young minds could come up with was truly an incredible thing. (Exercise from Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry by Kenneth Koch)

My Third Eye Sees My third eye sees...

Dead people, dancing monkeys, what's going on behind me, happiness, polka dots, inside people's thoughts, peace and tranquility, fun, roller coasters, food, everything inside out, a chocolate-covered hot air balloon in x-ray vision, the future, the bald spots of guys' heads between the ages of 30-50 under their hats, movies before they come out in theaters, what my baby sister would look like if I had one, night vision.

My Third Eye Sees My third eye sees my rabbit standing up My third eye sees an autographed baseball bat My third eye sees WARM COFFEE IN BED My third eye sees a bunch of money My third eye sees a picnic in the park My third eye sees a rainbow elephant My third eye sees a bubble gum pool My third eye sees a Laker's game My third eye sees a snowy pine tree with pinecones Our third eye sees a VERMONSTER. My Third Eye Sees - Lots of people - Wearing shorts tomorrow - Playing basketball tomorrow - Seven blue puppies - A plate of curry! - Inside of an ancient pyramid - My godfather returning from Iraq - People dancing on the roof - A green squirrel My Third Eye Sees My third eye sees: a unicorn running through the streets of Philly a pony with four heads that can't go anywhere a purple dog that loves to bark, but quacks instead a cat's fur ball that turns back into a cat! a rainbow cat that eats skittles a giant chocolate chip cookie - with chocolate chips the size of buttons! It gets bigger when you bite it a talking watermelon an amusement park on the moon a never-ending bowl of banana ice cream a pool of diamonds