37. Creative Writing On A Monday

Pete's Store

New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.

Educational Website…
Check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There is a ton of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.

Creative Writing On A Monday…There is an old adage about not judging someone until you have walked in their shoes. This week you will have a chance to walk in their shoes, whoever they may be, and tell their story. Can you pick an artist, musician, or politician and write their diary for this week? Record as your favorite in diary form each day and highlight their daily routine, a special event (Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards, American Writer Awards, new movie opportunity), or everyday situation in their life? Become your favorite for the week and write their story each day. If you pick President Obama you are going to have fun describing his next few days. He is in Florida playing golf with Tiger Woods.

Creative Writing On A Monday II…There is a French story about an ordinary, every day, used shoe store that sold magic shoes. When you purchased a pair of shoes you were transported to the life of the person who originally owned those shoes. Ann Beattie is the author of The Burning Bed. It is both a play and a movie. She wrote a book titled Spectacles with a similar theme to the French story. In her book, children put on grandma’s glasses and see the world that grandma saw years ago. Her wonderfully illustrated book tells a beautifully story. Pick your favorite celebrity and write as their shoes for a week. Seems silly, but it is a very different writing lens that you will be using.

ELA Motivators

Creative Writing On A Monday III…Here are some of the themes I use with school students and graduate students. They have to write as five different people over five days. My themes can be followed or changed.

Project 1.  Harriet Tubman’s entry during one of her slave rescue trips.

Here are some mind stretchers and writing themes for your diary entry.

Harriet is fearful that she may be caught.
Harriet is confident she can rescue her family.
Harriet is looking forward to meeting old friends.
Harriet at age ninety looking back on her life.

Project 2.  Van Gogh’s thoughts and reasons the day before and the day after cutting off his ear.

Here are some mind stretchers and writing themes for your diary entry.

Vincent wondering why no one understands his work
Vincent commenting on the beauty of his countryside
Vincent explaining his troubles
Vincent returning one hundred years later to find he is famous

Project 3. Mary Shelley’s thoughts after writing the novel Frankenstein

Here are some mind stretchers and writing themes for your diary entry.

Mary wondering whether people will see her Frankenstein sympathetic
Mary comparing her writing to the beauty of her husband’s poem
Mary deciding if a female monster should share his fate
Frankenstein lecturing Mary on his clothes selection

ImageCommon Vision: A Difference Making Group…Common Vision is making a difference throughout California. They are on a tree planting tour of 38 schools. They are bringing with them the message of health and the environment.Here is what they are saying on their website about this tour. We are just a few days away from our first stop on Fruit Tree Tour 2013, a tree care and orchard planting pilgrimage that will take our all-volunteer crew of modern-day Johnny Appleseeds on a 5-week tour of Southern California and the Bay Area. This season Common Vision will visit 38 public schools and community centers, work with over 4,000 students, care for 720 mature fruit trees, and plant 290 new fruit trees including 4 new school orchards.


Their sponsor page is filled with a host of recognized national organizations. Support this group with a donation or an invite to your region of California.

Children’s Literature I…The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame was written in 1898 and is an anti-war story featuring the last dragon and the last dragon fighter left on earth. They are the last of their breed because they enjoy reading, plays, and happy events rather than fighting. They have a problem. Their problem is that the community they live in wants them to fight…a great discussion topic. A young boy is thrown into the mix with the answer to their perplexing problem. Michael Hague’s illustrations and retelling of this story are both classics for any program. This richly illustrated book is a thoughtful present for a student or school library.

Children’s Literature II…Alphabet City and City by Numbers by Stephen S. Johnson are photographic A, B, C and mathematics books. The author took pictures of the things we see every day in the city. If you look carefully each picture contains a letter (Alphabet City) or number (City by Numbers) in it. Some are very obvious while others are somewhat hidden. Can you send members of your family out to take pictures of things that will form your last name? Put the photos in a panorama depiction and you will a dynamic family photo. How about encouraging your class to use cutouts or photos from the neighborhood to form into the shapes of numbers or letters? Upper grades can use time-lapse photography to record the drawing of or building of numbers and letters.

Jenny's BookJenny

Jenny Witterick’s New Book On The Holocaust…Putting together a presentation format for an author in Philadelphia is difficult. I have been trying to find a convenient Philadelphia location for Jenny Witterick to present her new book on the holocaust. I don’t want to put too much pressure on her as she travels throughout Canada and the US.

Here is what Jenny said to me in an email about giving her book out:

I was thinking that if any of the teachers in your graduate class would like the book I wrote, I would be happy to send you copies free of charge. I will have the books sent directly from my publisher. You are welcome to put that on your website if you like. They just need to provide their school, address, and number of copies that they need. The book is suitable for grades 6-12. It makes sense if I send you a copy and then hand you one personally when I see you sometime in the future. I wrote the book to promote good will and understanding…giving them to young readers makes so much sense to me.

New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.




About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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One Response to 37. Creative Writing On A Monday

  1. SHARON FUNK says:

    Hi Tom,

    What about having the author of My Mother’s Secret present at a JCC, in Philly or how about down here? I have a friend, Riva Ginsburg, who lectures at FAU and other locations, on the holocaust. Maybe they can network with each other.

    Sharon Funk 516 456-4771 516 670-0303

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