Creative Writing Activity

Rebecca Balcárcel, a poet brought to our campus, taught 9 am classes of literature and composition. In that 50 minute class she got 50 students engaged in writing poetry.

The activity:
She passed out envelopes filled with words cut out of magazines.

She told folks to dump them out. Look at the words. If words were on both sides, they could choose which side to use.

“Enjoy yourself! See what the words are. Play with them.”

Then she said to find one interesting phrase that puts words together in a way that isn’t common, that sounds a little funny. (This was hard for some students.)

The words that came out of the envelope I used:
new branch save and at by drive apologies girl goes minute Italian parents could tax the faint about adventure in to serious city chocolate knew towel you fall help

My phrase(s):
faint into adventure
apologies drive the minute

Creating a poem:
Then she asked everyone to read out their phrases. She wrote them on the white board. (Towards the end she borrowed my dry erase markers and had three students writing theirs on the board at a time.)

After she read all the phrases out, students were instructed to use the phrases on the board (or parts of the phrases) in eight lines, for a short poem.

My class presented these:
New apologies fall at the serious branch in a city
vision discover today
live in ways of art for time
I flee light tomatoes before kids walk easy.
rescuers spend jackpot on nurture—definitely chocolate
Dining with chocolate is a dream because it’s pure.
sun see hidden energy
Even parents must escape but promise not to discover new energy.
buy my miracle galaxy music
everyday campers contact rich preschool dogs
married expression flows, super and smoking, a million problems have bloomed
stretch every ceiling and construct your own special house
silver heart and a pretty smile
organ starts advancing without magic
true people hold friends beyond the grave

I chose these to begin working with:
chocolate, a nurturing jackpot
miracle galaxy music
stretch every ceiling
advancing without magic
true people hold friends beyond the grave
told to stop searching
germs exchange easy projects
learn to search less, make often
explore cool relieving fun
As if fleeing light tomatoes

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