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"Day by Day"

Hi, FLOW-ers,

We now know our schools will be closed until April 17, but I will not be surprised if our kids will be learning remotely for the remainder of the school year. I have had a (mostly) successful few days of learning, playing, and adjusting to this new reality. Most hours of the day I have been present with my kiddos enjoying our time together, but then I catch myself beginning to think in terms of weeks or months and it feels like a damn is breaking inside of me. To stop the damn from busting open entirely, I take a breath and remind myself to just take it day by day.

With this coping mechanism in mind, the theme for writing the next few days is “day by day.”

1. Have your kiddos pick something for which they are thankful. Maybe it is a friend, a part of their body, a food, music, the mountains, etc. Next, have them free-write for ten minutes about why this thing is so special to them. Try to encourage them to use sensory description. For example, if it is a food, perhaps allow them to first look at it, then smell it, touch it, taste it, reflect on how it sounds while they eat it. If it is a person they could look at a picture of the person and do the same kind of sensory reflection. Next, have them write an ode to the thing they wrote about. If you want to get into a lesson about odes, you could google examples of the more sophisticated forms of the Horatian or Pindaric odes, but for most kids just telling them it is an emotional poem written about a person or thing is probably sufficient. If your kid is up for a challenge they could try and use different rhyming patterns like those in more traditional odes. They might also try to write in couplets like the ode below taken from Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover. (If your kiddo hasn’t read The Crossover, I highly recommend it!)

Ode to My Hair

By Kwame Alexander

If my hair were a tree

I'd climb it.

I'd kneel down beneath

and enshrine it.

I'd treat it like gold

and then mine it.

Each day before school

I unwind it.

And right before games

I entwine it.

These locks on my head,

I designed it.

And one last thing if

you don't mind it:

That bet you just made?


2. For this activity ask your kiddo to write about something they don’t like: an anti-ode. What is something that they really dislike? Maybe they could compose an anti-ode to math, writing, poetry, the coronavirus, cleaning their room, or a food. Take the same steps you took in the first prompt of this post, but now allow them to indulge in feeling really bad about something! As an extension you could always have them draw a picture to go with their written work.

3. Ask your kiddos to watch the video below and then have them write three paragraphs about what togetherness means to them. Maybe they can think about a time they needed someone to help them do something, or what they like most about being together with a certain person, or have them research a thing they enjoy and think about the chain of people involved in getting that thing into their hands.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and please share your kiddos' work with me!

Yours in the FLOW,


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