Bob Boone

Writing Ideas

1) John O'Connor's book, Wordplaygrounds, is full of good ideas. Read the review in the book section of the web site. You might want to buy the book. ISBN 0-8141-5819-6

2) I often start poetry units with a packet of short accessible poems. For each I have a simple instruction such as "Become an Animal," "Try a story in verse," "Write about your people," "Write something skinny." You can find all of these here.

3) Several teachers I know use first lines to get something started. Here are a few:
      Truth is like a slippery stone
      Why have I forgotten to feel?
      Dreams can be the enemy.
      Creeping, creeping, creeping
      I never thought I knew the why
      You might ask your students to respond to each first in prose. This gives them something to tighten and shape.

4) Bring stuff to class -- old pencil sharpeners, bicycle bells, combs, eye glass cases. Ask students to write a letter TO the object. This could be a love letter, a threatening letter, a letter of inquiry, or anything else. From all of this, a poem just might emerge.

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Read Bob's Previous Writing Ideas Columns:

  • February, 2009
  • December, 2008
  • September, 2008
  • August, 2008
  • July, 2008
  • June, 2008
  • May, 2008
  • April, 2008
  • March, 2008
  • February, 2008
  • January, 2008
  • December, 2007

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