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Thursday, May 17, 2012


Ruth Ayres had a creative idea today at her blog discover. play. build. She took a snapshot from her notebook describing colors she sees when at camp. Camping is a favorite summer past time with family, so I was immediately in agreement with the color scheme. I began to think about her question:
"Will you make a page in your notebook noting the most abundant colors in a particular setting?"
Of course! With students I have been working to show them ways to create detail in their writing, such a daunting task. You can't just say "add details," but that is often what I used to do, with little results. I am now trying to show them. I began to think about what personal writing projects I had been working on most recently, a poem about the spaces between leaves. This was inspired by another blog favorite, Linda at TeacherDance about Looking Long. I was so intrigued by her post that began with a poem by John Moffit called, To Look at Any Thing. The line "To the small silences between/The leaves," hooked me. I really tried to think about what I would notice if I could just sit there for a while and I have been working on a poem ever since on this very place. What better color palate to imagine! I am sure more inspiration can be drawn from the shades of green, the color of dew and the shadows. Here is the start on my color scheme. I am hoping to post the poem tomorrow on Poetry Friday.

I am always surprised by writing. Some things come out so quickly and others need time to simmer and then it comes together. It dawned on me while writing this post that I could also use this with my students too. Showing them the constant evolution of my poem and how colors have helped create details. How setting is what inspired it along with the Moffit poem. A detail they can relate well to due to our focus on story elements recently and their love of colors in kindergarten writing. Color palates may be making an appearance in my classroom next week too. Thanks Ruth!


  1. A beautiful notebook page, Betsy! I'm glad you took the challenge and made a page. I especially appreciated knowig the story behind your poem. I love it when things come together. Can't wait to read your finished poem.

  2. Awesome! I can't wait to see the poem now! This has certainly given me some things to think about.

  3. I'm looking forward too to this poem, to what you've done with 'looking long' and 'considering the colors'. I love that you enjoyed my post & that poem, which sits near me when I write, Betsy! Thanks for the mention. It seems as if it would be wonderful to share all this with your students. They would learn so much about the process! Thanks Betsy!

  4. Wow. Betsy, what a treasure you are for your students - to have their teacher so profoundly interested in and energized by writing, and sharing these lovely insights with them. Truly, you are an artist! I love how you are "growing" this poem...and now I must go check out Ruth's blog!


Thanks for the comment love!