Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Never Use a Paperclip . . ."

Hey, there. I'm deep in revisions, so if you think I'm ignoring this blog, you're right. I get to a certain point in the heavy lifting where I become completely obsessed, and do nothing but write and eat soup (or cereal.)

Meanwhile, if you'd like something more interesting to read, check out my new teacher's guide for Operation Yes, written by talented teacher and former military kid, Natalie Lorenzi. You can can download it here or use the link in this blog's side bar or try viewing it at my new teachers page at the Operation Yes site. (If you have any ideas for items to add to that teachers page, please let me know.)

Here's a sneak preview of two of the fun imrov activities that Natalie created for the guide:
In the spirit of the Flying Farmer, set up an obstacle course with students, chairs, tables, and low objects (such as blocks) on the floor.
One student is the Flying Farmer and must make it from one side of the stage to another while blindfolded. (You may use two X’s formed with tape on the floor for starting and ending points.)
An “air traffic controller” gives directions. If the pilot brushes or touches an object more than twice, the airplane goes down and the game starts over. You can set a time limit when the airplane will “run out of fuel.”

Miss Loupe’s new 6th grade students could use some advice from Bo, Gari, and the rest of the Ugly Couch Players.

Brainstorm a list of “school” words—school supplies, teachers, objects found in school etc. Write the names of each object on an index card, and put the cards in a bag. Students go to the front of the class in pairs and draw one card each from the bag. Each pair must offer a one-line pearl of wisdom for next year’s students.

1. One student begins the sentence, using the word on the card he or she drew from the bag.

2. The second student must complete the sentence using the other word drawn from the bag. The advice may be wacky, but it must make grammatical sense.

Example: If the following words are drawn from the bag: paper clip, water fountain... Student 1 might begin with: “Never use a paper clip...”

and Student 2 might finish: “ fish your gum out of the drain in the water fountain.”
Hey! I thought of a good one: Never use a paperclip. . . . to eat soup.

See you guys on Poetry Friday!


  1. Selfishly, as one of your readers, I always love to hear you're in revisions!

  2. Selfishly, as one of YOUR readers, I always love it when you have a new post.

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Sara! Best of luck with your revisions...would a box of paper clips help at all? ;-)

  4. I read this post yesterday, Sara, when it popped up in my facebook feed, but when the title showed up in my blog reader this morning my brain immediately finished the sentence with "...when a sledgehammer will do."

    My brain has been hyperactive lately. I'm blaming niacin. Does wonders for dreams, but hasn't helped the writing.

  5. Nothing wrong with a writer having a hyperactive brain---and too soon to tell if the dreams will affect the writing like a sledgehammer or a paper clip...


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