Dead or Alive?

“It wont bite you Jimmy. It’s dead. Dad brought it back from the last Colonial Wars. Says there were millions of them trying to invade Earth. Reckons they were tough to kill. He brought this one back and had it bolted down in our back yard as a souvenir. Says all his mates did the same. There must be thousands of these things up and down the country being used as garden ornaments.”

Jimmy stared at the creature. Was he the only one who could see it’s eyes moving and the slight twitch of its tail? This thing wasn’t dead.

MikeJackson©2015

100 Word Story for Friday Fictioneers

Posted in 100 Word Stories, Micro Stories, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Goodbye Moon

A voice from the heavens cried out to the watching crowd, ”Tonight I take away your moon. Anger me again and I will remove your sun.”

MikeJackson@2015

 

Posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Stories | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

A Goodeyedeer

15377116_mI am presently collaborating with a freelance performer and children’s poet called David Horner. Between us we are creating poetry resources to be used by classroom teachers and homeschoolers.

These resources can be found on TES Resources under the name Goodeyedeers. (The name seemed like a good idea when we first thought of it!)

The latest resource package is David reading three of his poems, presented in a somewhat different way. These would be great lesson starters.

Here is an example of one of them.

Posted in David Horner, Goodeyedeers, Home Schooling, Poetry, Poetry Lessons, Primary Teachers, Teacher Resources, Teaching Resources | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Another Great Poets – More Great Ideas

This is the second post (check here for the first one) where we get David Horner to suggest ways you might work with some well-known poems. In this post we are going to look at the poem ‘This Is The Hand’ by Michael Rosen. Then David has some ideas for how you might use this poem in your classroom.

This is the hand
that touched the frost
that froze my tongue
and made it numb

this is the hand
that cracked the nut
that went in my mouth
and never came out

this is the hand
that slid round the bath
to find the soap
that wouldn’t float

this is the hand
on the hot water bottle
meant to warm my bed
that got lost instead

this is the hand
that held the bottle
that let go of the soap
that cracked the nut
that touched the frost
this is the hand
that never gets lost

Michael Rosen

  • Once the children have heard the poem read over a few times get them to look at it a little closer. There is alliteration woven throughout. Children working in pairs with a copy of the poem and some coloured pens can colour-code the text to highlight alliterating words.
  • One of the poem’s appeal is its diction. There are only five words, out of a total of almost a hundred, that are more than one syllable! Those five words are all just two-syllable words. How quickly can pairs of children hunt these down? Can they suggest ways of rewriting any of the verses to achieve a poem made up wholly of monosyllables?
  • In all their writing children need to attend to issues of person and tense. The poem is third person throughout and past tense – right up to the switch to present tense for the very last verb. Can the children suggest a reason for this? Ask small groups to produce versions of some or all of the poem written variously in first and second person (e.g. I am the hand) or present and future tenses (e.g. … that will slide round the bath). How do such changes alter the poem as a whole? Which version do the class prefer.
  • Why not get the children to either write fresh versions on the subject as extensions of the original, or tackle a whole poem using the original’s overall structure, beginning, say, This is the foot
  • The structure is both a support and a challenge. I’ve had children writing poems featuring the five senses (This is the hand … eye, etc) and make a simple folded zigzag book with, say, This is the hand/leg/skin, and then by turning the paper inside out writing matching quatrains on some of the body’s inner workings: This is the blood/lung/brain
  • Equally enjoyable have been poems using the form for widely differing topics: I’ve seen This is my dad, This is the hamster, This is the rain, and so on. Probably the most touching was by a six-year-old who began:

This is my nana
who lives in a hospital
with lots of old people
and forgets our names

What can your children do?

If you would like to see more of David’s poetry ideas and workshops visit the Goodeyedeers section at TES Resources.

Posted in Goodeyedeers, Home Schooling, Poetry, Poetry Lessons, Primary Teachers, Teacher Resources, Teaching Resources | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s A Shame

the shame of it is,
this time I am innocent –
but nobody cares

******

I brought shame on her,
carrying on like I did –
yet still she loved me

MikeJackson©2015

Inspired by the prompt at
Posted in Haiku, Poetry | Tagged | 7 Comments

Definitely Wednesday

Let me see … it was Thursday. No, wait a minute, it can’t have been, that’s my belly dancing night.  It was Wednesday. Definitely Wednesday. I remember, he bought me a drink after the bingo. Why are you asking, officer? What’s he done?

MikeJackson©2015

 

Posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Stories | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

When Will It Rain Again?

Photo Prompt – © Santoshwriter

Photo Prompt – © Santoshwriter

“What’s that, Jones?” “A picture, sir. We found it hidden amongst the old man’s belongings. According to the computer’s archives it’s a photo of a plant. Apparently our planet was once full of them. And the droplets on the leaf, sir … something called rain. Seems it fell quite naturally at one time.” “Really! What about the old man?” ‘One of these ‘old world’ agitators, sir. We’re presently cleansing his mind before we put him back into society.” “Excellent! And Jones … destroy the picture. Last thing we want is people getting strange ideas about where their water comes from.”

MikeJackson©2015

100 word story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt.

Posted in Short Stories | 25 Comments

Great Poets – Great Ideas

Melinda Mae by Shel Silverstein

Melinda Mae by Shel Silverstein

What’s This?

I am currently collaborating with the children’s poet, David Horner and between us we are creating resources for teachers to use with their young writers.

Every now and again I shall post ideas on my blog that you, or someone you know, might want to work with. These are ideas that David has tried and tested in many schools.

Shel Silverstein

For over 30 years Shel Silverstein was Mr Children’s Poetry in the United States, where his books sold in their millions. What marks his work out is that as well as writing the poems, he illustrated them, thus giving the pages of his books a wonderfully complete feel.

Check out some of his books, including, A light In the Attic, Falling Up and his last one, Where The Sidewalk Ends

It’s also worth looking at the Shel Silverstein web page where there a number of learning resources you can download. I particularly liked some of his simple animations.

 

David’s Ideas 

Have a look at this poem- ‘If The World Was Crazy’ – taken from Shel Silverstein’s book, Where The Sidewalk Ends. Then David has some ideas on how you might make use of this poem in your classroom.

If the world was crazy, you know what I’d eat?
A big slice of soup and a whole quart of meat,
A lemonade sandwich, and then I might try
Some roasted ice cream or a bicycle pie,
A nice notebook salad, an underwear roast,
An omelet of hats and some crisp cardboard toast,
A thick malted milk made from pencils and daisies,
And that’s what I’d eat if the world was crazy

If the world was crazy, you know what I’d wear?
A chocolate suit and a tie of eclair,
Some marshmallow earmuffs, some licorice shoes,
And I’d read a paper of peppermint news.
I’d call the boys “Suzy” and I’d call the girls “Harry”,
I’d talk through my ears, and I’d always carry
A paper umbrella for when it grew hazy
To keep in the rain, if the world was crazy.

If the world was crazy, you know what I’d do?
I’d walk on the ocean and swim in my shoe,
I’d fly through the ground and I’d skip through the air,
I’d run down the bathtub and bathe on the stair.
When I met somebody I’d say “G’bye, Joe”,
And when I was leaving – then I’d say “Hello”,
And the greatest of men would be silly and lazy
So I would be king … if the world was crazy

I‘d fly on my duvet and sleep in my shoe
I’d run under water and float in the air
I’d climb up the bathtub and wash on the stair

A motor car of chocolate
A bobble hat knitted from daydreams

Have fun and let us know how you got on in your Crazy World!

Posted in David Horner, Home Schooling, Poetry, Poetry Lessons, Teaching Resources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Just A Kiss

She lay motionless under the mistletoe – small puncture marks in her slender neck.

MikeJackson©2015

Posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Stories, Short Stories | 17 Comments

They’re Coming!

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

Why aren’t they listening to me? I’ve stood on the plinth, overlooking the city, for years – keeping watch. Now that I’ve spotted something nobody seems to want to know.

“They’re coming!” I scream, pointing to the sky on the horizon. But nobody cares. Nobody’s listening.

Once these heavy clouds lift they’ll see for themselves but by then it’ll be too late. Thousands of alien spaceships, nothing more than bright pin pricks in the sky, coming this way.

They see this as their ‘New World’, their fresh start and they have no intention of sharing it with us worthless humans.

MikeJackson©2015

100 word story for Friday Fictioneers

Posted in 100 Word Stories, Flash Fiction, Micro Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments