Are your kids fed up with “assigned” writing?
Unhook resistance by playing with language (instead of fighting with it). You’ll be making what are called “word tickets” and then turning them into “word sculptures.”
This activity comes from a terrific little book called, Poem Crazy. I’ve adapted it for our homeschool experience. Hang onto your word tickets! (Keep the ones you don’t use in an envelope or little dish.) I’ll post an exercise called “Scrounged Poetry” later in the week (see update below!) that will build on this activity. For now, have fun with words!
- a stack of magazines (you will be cutting them up so be sure you’re finished reading them)
- notecards or stickies
- glue stick
- clear tape
- your imagination
You are going to create what we call “word tickets” that will be used to create “word sculptures.”
What to do:
Page through the magazines looking for words. Any words will do. Don’t edit your choices. Just dive in and start cutting. You are picking single words or two to three word phrases that pop, that engage you in some way.
Cut out the words or phrases.
Select words and phrases for 30 minutes to an hour. Keep them in a little stack.
Glue them to cardstock or notecards so they are sturdy. Cut them to the size of the word or phrase.
Next, collect some items and bring them to the kitchen table. You can tape the word tickets directly to the items in your home or you can tape them to sticky notes and then put the post-its on the items. Whatever works best for you.
You will put your word tickets on potted plants, photographs, coffee tables, candles, the crock pot, a bowl of fruit, the window, the TV, the soap dish, the handle of a door, the side of a chair, above a lock, next to the fireplace or on the screen of the computer. Notice what your word tickets do to the items in your house and allow yourself to see those items with new eyes.
A clothing catalog can be an incredible source of quality words such as:
stuff sack included
snappy little colorsplash
Here are some combos the kids and I came up with:
Sparkling sequins taped to my globe
fresh tangerine labeling my teapot
snappy little colorsplash sat under my birthday flower arrangement sent to me by a good friend
Asian elegance next to my car keys
avid taped to chop sticks
mosaic light next to my votive candle set
Play around with it. If you or your kids don’t like where one word is, move it. You can also combine words if that adds texture or insight or nerve to your label. You might find that you want to tape words to items that can’t be moved to the kitchen table. Walk around the house and stick words everywhere!
Traditional European might look just right under a certain photograph or painting in your house.
handmade sits next to my computer
brave was taped to my window.
nearly naked was stuck to a print by Matisse
Feel free to wander through your house taping labels to furniture and brick-a-brack.
Label things strangely:
rib-knit on a bag of chips
stuff-sack included on a wine glass
Put nouns with verbs (combining word tickets):
car keys jump
Have fun! Post your word sculptures in the comments section of the blog.
UPDATE: Here’s the Scrounged Poetry post!