This past Friday, I attended the Writers in the Schools lesson swap. It was pretty cool. All the writers who teach for WITS have to attend this meeting. Basically, all the writers met and swapped lessons that they have used in their classes. There were some pretty original lessons e.g. "Bad Morning." This particular lesson is centered around a poem by Langston Hughes called "Bad Morning." You write this short poem on the board and have your students read it. Then have them read it again, you can even have them yell it. The writer who came up with this lesson stated he also made them stand up and yell it. This helps evoke the experience of really having a bad morning. He then suggested that the writer should read the first couple of paragraphs from Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Now, this is a great example of a bad morning. I think waking up as a bug and it's raining outside constitutes as a bad morning. How much worse could it get? After talking about all things that you do in the morning have your students write the worst morning they could possibly imagine. Have them write for about twenty minutes and then have them share it. I am definitely going to use this lesson for one of my workshops. I think it will be fun and the kids should like it. Here's Langston Huges' poem, in case anyone wants to try this with their class.
Here I sit
With my shoes mismated.