Saying it with images

From PicLits: is a creative writing site that matches beautiful images with carefully selected keywords in order to inspire you. The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.

Grab an image, write any kind of text–and you are finished. This seems like a interesting way to introduce poetry or figurative language. Check out the learning link on the site for more options.
PicLit from
See the full PicLit at

It’s working


Ok, it's one little baby step.

Last night, the students read "The Veldt," by Ray Bradbury and wrote a short reaction to the story in their blog. I had just introduced the blogs two days ago, helped them set up an account, and showed them how to post.

I had spent time commenting on each of their posts as they popped up online last night and this morning, but I still wondered if this would work as I had hoped.

"So, I've read your posts about the story. Some of you said you were confused and others nailed the idea about technology and alienation. Would anyone like to share a post?" I asked

A minute of quiet, and then one student said:
"No, but I was reading Aaron's, and I think he's got some great ideas!"

"You were reading Aaron's?" I asked, smiling. Aaron is in another section of English, but this student had decided to browse other blogs. He'd found one he thought grasped the theme.

"Absolutely," I said. "Let's take a look at Aaron's and then we'll share some of yours."

I love this. Reading, sharing….now I just need to remind them to comment on Aaron's post!!

It's a beginning.

A different perspective

I am finishing up two days back in the classroom, teaching ninth grade English (called "Intro to Genres" in our course of study). We began the year with a short story unit, in which we will explore the structure of a short story before actually writing one of our own. Students will share ideas of theme and characters to compile their stories into a class novel, much like Fred Chappelle's I Am One of You Forever–their summer reading. offers great prices on printed books, so we'll have something to actually put in our hands when we finish!
Although I have great lesson plans from a previous teacher, I hope to put my own stamp on the course. I want to take advantage of our 1:1 program, allow students to explore through technology their thoughts about literature, and use many of the web tools I've been promoting to other teachers as ways to increase  involvement in their own learning.
Today students created blog accounts using 21 classes, and they wrote their first reading reflections. I loved being able to login to the class page and comment quickly on their thoughts. Tomorrow I plan to share some of their comments in class using the projector.
I hope to be able to share our work in some way, connect with students in other schools, and find ways for them to continue to publish their writing.
Right now, though? I'm trying to keep my head above water. I just re-read this, and my tenses are all over the place. But that's all the time I have for this tonight:)