Writing Prompt 3: An Ode Is A Song You Sing To A Thing
Read this poem “Ode to My Shoes,” by Francisco X. Alarcón.
An ode is a type of poem where you talk about an object that you know and like a lot. This poet named Francisco writes a poem about his shoes. He imagines how his shoes feel after a long day of walking all over town and getting very tired. He imagines that his shoes are alive and think about things in their sleep. He notices all the small details about his shoes, the laces and the tongues, how they are soft and cheerful in the morning.
Pick an object in your life that you see every day, that helps you out a lot. Write an ode to that thing. Imagine what that object feels like and thinks about and does when you are away, when you are outside playing or sound asleep. Use the words you know. They don’t have to be fancy. Write a poem like Francisco without rhymes. Just use a few words on each line. See how he has has little paragraphs. Those are called stanzas. See how each stanza is just one short sentence. Make a poem with five short sentences, one or two words per line, five stanzas. An adult can help you do this. They can help you write down the words. Please share your poems with Miss Tessa!
Writing Prompt 2: Flight
Watch this silent short film made by Alyce Tzue.
A long time ago, all movies were silent. They didn’t have talking in them. At the movie theater, a piano player played music to go with the movie, just like this short movie has music to help express its emotions too.
This movie tells a story all by itself without any words. But you can use your imagination to tell us more. What is the name of the child who is trying to fly the airplane? Where does the child live? What is the child’s life like? Why does the child want to fly an airplane? Can you narrate the whole story for us? Can you tell us about the person who is flying the tiny airplane? Where do all the tiny airplanes come from? How did they get to fly the planes and have the job that they have? Where do the people in the airplanes go after they do their job? Do they do this job every night? What is it like to fly a tiny airplane way up high into the night sky? Is it scary, fun, exciting? Would you like to do this too? Would you like to make and fly airplanes? Tell us as much as you can about this story, as though you are the narrator. What happens tomorrow for each of these characters? Do they meet again?
You might have to watch the short film a few times. Notice all the small details. Be a very good observer. Tell us about all the things that you see and why they are there and what they tell us about the story.
Writing Prompt 1: Candy Forest
Pictures tell stories all by themselves, but sometimes we have to help interpret the stories. Explore this painting by the artist Nicoletta Ceccoli. What do you notice? Look at all the details. Ask questions. Why do you think the girl is riding the pig? Where are they going? How does a candy forest grow? Where is the candy forest? What is the round green thing? What might happen with the round green thing? What are the other animals doing? What happens next?
You can probably imagine lots of different stories for this picture. Imagine one story. Write it down. Read it over out loud. Do you like how it sounds? What other details can you add to help us imagine the story better? Tell us more about the girl. Tell us more about the pig. Tell us where they’re from and what their lives have been like. What does the candy taste like? Do any of the characters have conversations? What do they say? Do any of the characters have problems they need to solve? Add more to your story. Change it. Share it with your family and friends and with the library. Email it to Miss Tessa! She would love that! firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents: Kids of any age can do this prompt. Adults can do this prompt too. If your child cannot write yet, have them tell you the story. Write it down. Read it out loud for them and ask if they want you to change anything. Ask them questions such as the ones above to get them to flesh the story out. Feel free to pretend that you are characters in this picture and to act out conversations. Send us your stories for warm feedback or to share on the website. Indicate if you wish to share on the library’s website, and give the writer’s name and age. Please note that some of Ceccoli’s artwork has mature themes that might not be appropriate for all ages. There is a link to the artist’s webpage with the featured picture below.
Citation: Ceccoli, Nicoletta. “Candy Forest.” 2012. https://www.afanyc.com/nicoletta-ceccoli